LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A flight from Las Vegas bound for Hawaii was diverted to LAX Wednesday morning over what police say was a passenger’s reaction to the price of an in-flight blanket.

Hawaiian Airlines flight #7 was a few miles off the Southern California coast when an unidentified 66-year-old passenger requested a blanket and was told the cost would be $12, according to Los Angeles Airport police.

Witnesses said the man argued he should not have to pay for a blanket because it was so cold. The passenger became upset and asked for the phone number to Hawaiian corporate headquarters to complain. According to police, he then said, “I’d like to take someone behind the wood shed for this.”

While there was no physical altercation, crew members refused service and the pilot made the decision to dump fuel in order to land at LAX at 10:15 a.m., police said. The man was escorted off the flight. Passengers recorded the lockdown on their cellphones.

“I thought it was ridiculous,” passenger Eileen Berstrom said. “First of all, it costs $12,000 for them to land here, and it’s a $12 blanket.”

After police and federal authorities took the man into the terminal, they determined he was not a threat and released him without filing charges. The man was able to fly to Hawaii on a different airline, police said.

The airline released the following statement regarding the incident:

“Diverting a flight is clearly not our first choice, but our crew felt it was necessary in this case to divert to Los Angeles and deplane the passenger before beginning to fly over the Pacific Ocean.”

Flight #7 eventually left LAX and arrived in Honolulu, nearly four hours behind schedule.

Comments (52)
  1. Dean Fuller says:

    The plane was an Airbus A330. Why are you using a picture of a Boeing 767?

    1. Rick Nolte says:

      It is called a file photo. Commonly used in the news reporting industry. No where on the picture or article does it claim the photo is the actual aircraft involved. The photo also was not shot a LAX.

  2. Sam Oldman says:

    Of course no charges were filed – no crime was committed. This was a pointless, idiotic, braindead reaction to the free expression of disgust that this person (rightly) felt towards the airline industry. He should get a refund, too, because the flight he paid for did not deliver him to the destination he expected.

  3. It is time to reregulate the airline industry! They are gouging their captive consumers every chance they get and when someone complains, they delay all the rest of the customers with their heavy handed tactics to stifle any descent. Most airlines are nothing more than glorified low quality buses jammed with sardines (passengers). Time to start writing our Congressional Representatives to have the airlines explain why they should not be regulated again.

  4. Bill Stetson says:

    If you can afford to fly a top commercial flight to Hawaii, then what is twelve dollars for a pillow? They are happy to rent the pillow for the flight, and pillows are expensive too!

    1. Next up they will be charging for a potty pass so you can use the restroom. … why should they be so deep in our pockets. Clearly they over reacted.

  5. So you trust a flight crew to carry you safely 2,500 miles, 37,000 feet above the earth, then you question their judgement when it comes to safety? Passengers demand the cheapest plane ticket, then want all of the amenities of more expensive flights. Then they think they can conduct themselves on a plane the same way they would in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Flight crews have to adhere to regulations of multiple government agencies and if any remark at all can be taken as a threat, or if you interfere with their job duties, that is a violation of federal law. It is ridiculous how many times a flight attendant has to interrupt the captain flying the aircraft because a passenger has a dog that is jumping around disturbing the other passengers, or someone refuses to sit down during turbulence, or someone desperately needs their medication but they put it into their checked luggage which is down in the cargo hold, or a passenger is doing cocaine in the lavatory, you name it. People forget that the crew is trying their hardest to get several hundred people safely from point A to point B, working around bad weather conditions, mechanical malfunctions, etc. If everyone would just be prepared ahead of time for their trip, then know how to act appropriately on a government-regulated form of transportation, it would be safer and more pleasant for everyone.

    1. Web Honcho says:

      Uh, this falls into the category of “crew overreaction”. What, did the Hawaiian Airlines Captain on Flight 67 have a bad morning? Did he miss his coffee? You have 9 cabin crew aboard the Hawaii flight and not one of them could resolve the situation around a 66 yo passenger and a $12 blanket without calling airline’s ground duty staff? Really? Retraining needed…

      As I commented elsewhere:
      “Blanket $12… Emergency landing, $12,000… Bad Hawaiian Airlines global PR and lost customers… Priceless.”

  6. Web Honcho says:

    Well, the Hawaiian Airlines Flight 67 crew and ground duty staff should be charged the $12,000 it cost to land the aircraft and deplane this passenger. Just quietly give the passenger a $12 blanket and call it a day. Instead, certain morons at the airline (both Captain and ground staff) decided this was an emergency. Re-training of Hawaiian Airlines employees needed….

    “Blanket $12… Emergency landing, $12,000… Bad Hawaiian Airlines global PR and lost customers… Priceless.”

  7. Marco Guler says:

    Why no other Passenger Buy him the Blanket to Avoid Delay?? I would!!!

  8. wolfmann4u says:

    he must have been a Hillary voter King Obama supporter

  9. Guy Kelley says:

    They dumped how many gallons of Jet Engine Fuel into the Pacific Ocean, then turned around and came back to LAX and landed over a $12.00 blanket !? Blaming it all on passenger safety ? Good lord, can anybody see how out right dumb, Captains and Flight Crews can be over the smallest things. Next time Walk !

  10. How stupid can you be. Dumping all that fuel in the ocean for a $12.00 blanket. That hurts our environment and cost $12,000. People should boycott Hawaiian airlines.

  11. Probably charge him $20 to bring a blanket on a plane

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