Airline Removes Four Passengers From Chicago-Bound Flight 'Due to Law Enforcement Activity'
Four people were removed from a flight and the other passengers were delayed hours after someone onboard reported "suspicious behavior" before a Tuesday morning takeoff.
Washington-area reporter Suzanne Kennedy was onboard the Chicago-bound flight out of BWI Airport when she said "a woman and her child got up and quickly moved to rear of plane while taxiing" and the plane was turned around.
Spirit Airlines said in a release that "a passenger alerted a flight attendant of a passenger engaged in suspicious activity.
The activity turned out to be a man watching a news report on his cell phone, authorites later said. The mother thought his actions were "suspicious" authorities said and the flight's captain returend to the gate.
According to Kennedy, who reports for WJLA, "Four people in [their] 30s of apparent middle eastern descent with backpacks removed from plane."
While the four people were being questioned, all other passengers were temporarily deplaned. The four were questioned and released.
The aircraft and luggage were inspected and subsequently cleared by the TSA before the plane was finally cleared for take-off.
The plane was originally scheduled for a 6 a.m. take-off but did not leave for Chicago until after 9 a.m.