LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A planeful of Las Vegas-bound passengers ended up being diverted to Denver International Airport Tuesday night after an apparent fight broke out involving some passengers.
Frontier Airlines flight 2143 left Philadephia around 10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday and was scheduled to arrive in Las Vegas around 8:40 p.m. PT.
The flight ended up being about an hour late because the plane had to reroute to Denver where two passengers traveling together were deplaned and met at the gate by police, said Michael Konopasek, Frontier Airlines corporate communications manager.
A Las Vegas resident on that plane, who was returning from a vacation, captured some of the exchange between the two passengers on video. The woman, who asked not to be identified, said two women began loudly arguing with each other and a flight attendant approached them three times to stop the argument and did end up moving one woman to a different seat.
The passenger said the two women continued to verbally fight and swear loudly even after being separated. She said it appeared one of the women involved in the fight hit a male passenger on or near the head as she made her way to a bathroom.
“It was fairly disruptive, so passengers began to tell them to shut up because their behavior was escalating,” the woman told Nexstar’s KLAS.
The flight diverted to Denver so the women could be removed from the plane.
According to the passenger, the two women were escorted off the plane. A few other passengers also left the plane to give police a witness statement. Upon returning to the plane, those passengers said the police had contacted the FBI.
It wasn’t clear Wednesday if any charges had been filed against the two women.
“Luckily the Vegas-based Frontier crew was great,” said the passenger, praising the crew for how it handled the situation.
According to the FAA, there has been a surge in unruly passengers occurred during the post-pandemic travel surge, and the FAA called for stricter legal enforcement. FAA reports incidents of unruly passengers have decreased by 80% since a 2021 record high of nearly 6,000 incidents.
Causing a disturbance on a plane is a federal crime. Unruly passengers can face criminal prosecution and charges.