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United Airlines flight forced to divert to Chicago after passenger enraged by ‘meal choice’

The feeling of being hangry is one many people will be all too familiar with: a rumbling belly, a singular focus on that next meal, being ready to snap at the next person who so much as looks at you. But have you ever been so hangry you’ve found yourself kicked off a plane?

A United Airlines business class passenger’s unruly behaviour caused a flight from Houston, Texas, bound for the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, to be diverted to Chicago – allegedly because his preferred meal was not available.

The flight, which took off at 4.20pm, was in Chicago airspace just two hours into its journey when it began circling the city’s O’Hare International Airport to use up fuel in order to reduce the weight of the aircraft, reports The Guardian.

Flightradar24, an air tracking website, tweeted that the flight was “jettisoning fuel prior to diversion” due to a problem passenger.

Aviation watcher XJonNYC shared internal United communications on Twitter stating that there was a “disruptive [passenger] on board”. He also tweeted that the passenger “was noted to be intoxicated as well, but meal choice seems to have been an enragement point.”

The Independent has contacted United Airlines for comment.

In a statement to The Guardian, the airline said: “United flight 20 from George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Amsterdam diverted to O’Hare International Airport and landed safely following a passenger disturbance. Law enforcement met the aircraft at the gate and escorted the passenger off the plane. The aircraft then continued to Amsterdam.”

According to Flightrader24, the flight landed in the Netherlands more than three hours late.

The disruptive passenger may not have enjoyed flying with Japan Airlines if he was looking to satisfy his hunger, with the operator emphasising the sustainability benefits of avoiding a mid-flight lunch and giving travellers the option to skip their meal.

Although it’s arguably preferable to have no meal at all than to have the experience of one SunExpress flight attendant, who found a severed snake’s head in her dish.

This article originally appeared on The Independent

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