United Airlines has temporarily banned a woman from flying with it after she allegedly caused pilots to divert a flight to Los Angeles after an argument with flight attendants about wine.
The woman, who has not been identified, caused a “disruptive” scene on the July 25 flight from Houston when she “refused to follow the flight attendant’s instructions to return to her seat,” United Airlines said in a statement.
The melee caused the LA-bound flight to divert to Phoenix.
Videos of the uproar shared on social media captured the moment a flight attendant warned the woman to take her seat or the flight would be forced to land in Arizona.
“Sit down,” the attendant repeatedly screamed at the woman, who continued to talk over him and tried calling his bluff.
“Just land,” she can be heard saying while trying to talk about a spat she was having with another passenger.
One of the flight attendants appeared exasperated arguing with the woman, urging her to take her seat or she would be leaving the airport in handcuffs.
He also accused the woman of drinking before boarding the plane.
“I knew you were drinking wine … and I still let you board,” he told her. “I tried to help you.”
The woman was also seen arguing with other passengers who yelled at her for causing their flight to be diverted.
The videos were uploaded by TikTok user Blake Perkins, who commented that his travel plans were ruined by the “Karen.”
“Another video of the karen who couldn’t get her wine. We had to land the plane so she could get escorted off and causing us even more delays than we already had. Over wine,” Perkins wrote.
United Airlines said the woman was met by law enforcement in Phoenix and removed from the plane, which continued its trip to Los Angeles later in the evening.
“The customer has been barred from future United flights while we review this matter,” the airline said in a statement.
The incident is only the latest in a trend of unruly passengers disturbing flights for airlines across the nation, with United seeing another high-profile case earlier this month when a business class passenger on a trans-Atlantic flight began harassing attendants because he didn’t receive his preferred choice of an in-flight meal.
The Federal Aviation Administration has recorded about 857 cases of unruly passengers in the first half of 2023.