2 Passengers Banned for Life by United After Altercation Forces Emergency Landing on Transatlantic Flight

The flight was diverted to Bangor, Maine, after two passengers who "appeared intoxicated" became disruptive

Robert Alexander/Getty
Robert Alexander/Getty

A United Airlines flight traveling from London to Newark, New Jersey, was diverted to Bangor, Maine, due to two passengers’ unruly behavior.

“United flight 883 landed in Bangor this morning after two passengers, who appeared intoxicated, became disruptive,” a spokesperson for the airline told PEOPLE in a statement Friday afternoon. “Law enforcement officials removed the two passengers and the flight has already re-departed for Newark Liberty International Airport.”

The statement added, “The customers will be banned from future United flights while we review this matter.”

The security threat level was classified as a Level 2, which indicates "heightened risks to safety."

Related: Belligerent JetBlue Passenger Restrained by Other Customers After Mid-Flight Altercation: 'Take Him Down'

Sergeant Jason McAmbley, public information officer for the Bangor Police Department, told PEOPLE in a statement that members of the department’s airport division assisted Customs and Border Protection and the FBI in handling the situation when the flight made its emergency landing in Maine.

“Two passengers were removed from the plane and CBP and FBI are handling the investigation,” McAmbley added.

The Federal Aviation Administration also confirmed the incident, noting on its website that the Boeing 767, which had departed London’s Heathrow Airport, landed safely in Bangor at around 10 a.m Friday.

<p>Douglas Rissing/Getty</p> Bangor International Airport

Douglas Rissing/Getty

Bangor International Airport

Related: American Airlines Passengers Restrain Man with Duct Tape After He Tries to Open Plane Door Mid-Flight

This isn’t the only instance of disruptive flyers making headlines recently.

Last week, American Airlines passengers on a Chicago-bound flight restrained a man with duct tape after he tried to open the emergency exit. As a result, the plane had to return to New Mexico's Albuquerque International Sunport.

Earlier in February, a belligerent JetBlue passenger who appeared to be intoxicated on a flight from London to New York City was held down by other customers after the man began acting aggressively toward crew members.

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According to the FAA, airlines have seen “rapid growth” in incidents involving unruly passengers since 2021.

There was a 492% increase in unruly passenger incidents between 2020 and 2021, when 5,973 were reported. (A large number could be attributed to customers who refused to comply with federal mask mandates amid the pandemic.) However, according to data from the FAA, occurrences were down 59% in 2022 and another 15% in 2023 with a total of 2,075 reports for the year.

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