Reports: Alaska Airlines flight forced to land early after ‘belligerent’ passenger lights cigarette

An Alaska Airlines flight was forced to land early after a passenger attempted to light a cigarette. (Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY)

An Alaska Airlines flight was forced to land early on Wednesday after a “belligerent” passenger lit a cigarette.

According to reports from CNN and NBC 5 in Chicago, a flight from San Francisco to Philadelphia touched down in Chicago after a man became angry when a flight attendant told him to put out a lit cigarette. 

The airline told CNN that the plane was then diverted “due to a disruptive passenger on board and out of an abundance of caution.”

The man was escorted off the flight and turned over to law enforcement, both outlets report. No word yet if charges were pressed or an internal investigation filed, but the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident. 

The plane refueled and left for Philadelphia about an hour later, according to NBC 5. 

USA TODAY has reached out to Alaska Airlines and the FAA for comment. 

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