Last updated: 03:21 PM ET, Sun August 30 2015

Cat Dispute on Flight Escalates to F-16 Scramble, Emergency Landing

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | August 30, 2015

Cat Dispute on Flight Escalates to F-16 Scramble, Emergency Landing

Photo via Twitter/DashIsabella

A Condor Airlines flight bound for Frankfurt, Germany from Las Vegas came to a premature end Friday night with an emergency landing in Denver while accompanied by two fighter jets. A dispute between a passenger and crew over a cat had turned violent, with the aggressor making terroristic threats, the Daily Mail reported

The trouble started when a woman boarded the Boeing 767 with a cat in her purse, without a proper carrier in her possession, according to passenger accounts, the Daily Mail said.

As an alternative to a carrier, cabin crew decided to stash the feline in a bathroom shortly after takeoff — and that’s when the passenger got angry.

The Daily Mail said she allegedly struck a female flight attendant in the face, then, quoting an account passenger Dashenka Giraldo gave to ABC News, the agitated flier claimed “she was part of the mafia and that the mafia follows her around the world and that she was able to bring the plane down if that needed to be the case if she couldn’t see her cat.”

Notified about the threat to the aircraft, the pilot contact authorities, and two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled from Colorado’s Buckley Air Force Base, the Daily Mail said.

At this point, the pilot realized “It was not possible to go on with the flight, so (he) decided to land in Denver,” Carsten Stepanowicz, a spokesperson for Condor in Germany, told the Daily Mail.

The military aircraft accompanied the 767 to a safe landing at Denver International Airport.

After being removed from the plane, the woman was questioned, but the FBI said she was not arrested or taken into custody, calling the incident a “misunderstanding,” according to the Daily Mail.

As for the inconvenienced passengers, Denver airport spokesperson Heath Montgomery said to the Daily Mail passengers were put up in hotels and the flight continued on to Frankfurt Saturday evening.

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