- An American Airlines flight was diverted after someone used pepper spray, per a Reddit post.
- The flight was headed to New York from Miami, when it was diverted to Jacksonville.
- The airline told WABC-TV that there was a “disruptive incident involving a customer.”
An American Airlines passenger said their flight to New York was diverted to Jacksonville after someone used pepper spray on board the plane.
A person with the user ID Lost_Ad_4562 recounted the incident on Reddit on Monday, saying they were on board American Airlines flight AA1680 from Miami to New York on Sunday when a woman pepper-sprayed other passengers.
Insider was not able to independently confirm the Redditor’s identity or verify their flight schedule, but flight AA1680 was indeed diverted to Jacksonville on its way to New York, per flight tracking service Flightradar 24.
“People thought we were going to die,” Lost_Ad_4562 wrote.
“It was incredibly scary not being able to breathe, having burning skin/ eyes, having everyone panicking around, and being stuck in a small space,” the Reddit user added.
Another person who said their significant other was on board the flight wrote in the same Reddit thread that the woman with the pepper spray claimed it had been discharged accidentally.
A representative for American Airlines told New York television station WABC-TV that the flight diversion was due to a “disruptive incident involving a customer.” WABC-TV further reported that the flight carried on with its journey to LaGuardia after it was cleaned in Jacksonville.
The Transportation Security Administration specifies on its website that a single “4 fl. oz. (118 ml) container of mace or pepper spray is permitted in checked baggage provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge.” But that varies by carrier, and some airlines also prohibit pepper spray in checked bags, per the TSA.
And American Airlines appears to be one such airline. According to the carrier’s guidelines, defense sprays like pepper spray and mace aren’t allowed on board.
Representatives for American Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.