Passengers fight at San Juan Airport after being forced to return to gate
The plane returned to the gate due to an unruly passenger.
Spirit Airlines canceled a Philadelphia-bound flight after a dispute broke out on the plane and spilled over into a brawl inside the terminal in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Monday.
Spirit said Flight 687 returned to the gate after a couple began fighting. After the two were asked to deplane, they initially refused, according to the airline. Other passengers became irate, and that’s when an argument broke out.
The airline said another passenger suffered a panic attack.
On video shot by a passenger on board the plane you can hear a crew member say an intoxicated passenger was refusing to deplane.
Spirit confirmed at least one person was drinking duty-free alcohol on board.
Passenger video shows the chaotic scene once the plane returned to the gate, with a number of people throwing punches, kicking and wrestling with each other. Eventually, three airport police officers come in and separate the half dozen or so people fighting as dozens surrounded the brawl with cameras out.
Spirit Airlines released a statement regarding the incident calling the behavior “completely inappropriate.”
“Spirit Airlines flight 687 from San Juan (SJU) to Philadelphia (PHL) returned to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport prior to takeoff because of a heated argument between two guests who were traveling together,” Spirit said in the statement. “Upon deplaning the aircraft, a physical altercation broke out in the terminal between the Guests who caused the disturbance and another group of Guests. This violent behavior is completely inappropriate. We thank the Puerto Rico Police Bureau for their intervention, and further questions about the altercation should be directed to them.”
An official at the airport confirmed to ABC News at least two people were arrested.