Last updated: 11:08 AM ET, Wed October 21 2015

Southwest Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Man Attacks Woman

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | October 21, 2015

Southwest Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Man Attacks Woman

Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

A Southwest Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing late Sunday night when a male passenger onboard reportedly attacked a female passenger for reclining her seat.

In a report from Matt Keller of, Southwest Airlines Flight 2010 departed Los Angeles International Airport Sunday night en route to San Francisco International Airport. After only 13 minutes in the air, the pilot declared an emergency due to a fight between passengers.

According to a witness onboard the flight, a confrontation broke out between passengers, and a man reportedly grabbed a woman’s throat after she leaned her seat back too far. When the plane returned to LAX, police were on the scene and immediately removed the suspected attacker from the flight.

The man who allegedly attacked the woman was detained and questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but was eventually released. The FBI has stated it will interview other potential witnesses before officially filing charges or not.

Once the suspect was removed from the flight, the remaining 136 passengers and the accompanying crew were asked to switch to a different plane. Between the alleged attack and the process of changing planes, the delay forced the second plane to arrive at San Francisco International Airport at 1:48 a.m. local time, five hours after its scheduled arrival.

Keller also shared details of the incident on Twitter:


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