(NEW YORK) — When a Delta plane from New York City bound for West Palm Beach, Florida, suddenly diverted to Jacksonville this week, most passengers had no idea what was happening, one flyer told ABC News.
“I noticed that my ears started popping and I looked out my window and saw we were getting lower and really quickly,” Joanna Thatcher, who was aboard the plane Monday night, told ABC News Wednesday.
“We didn’t know if it was weather or there was a medical emergency on the plane.”
It turned out to be the third case in about a week of a plane forced to land because of a fight between passengers over reclining a seat. This time, a woman named Amy Fine became irate after the woman in front of her reclined her seat, smacking her in the head, according to a report from the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.
New video shows the moment Fine, 52, was escorted off the plane by two police officers. Thatcher, who was sitting a few rows behind Fine, said she didn’t realize there had been a fight until she later saw the news.
“The woman wasn’t causing a scene, so to speak,” she said.
But Thatcher thinks it’s absurd that one unruly passenger can force a plane to land.
“It’s ridiculous that one passenger inconvenienced 100-something other passengers and cost the airline thousands of dollars, and she gets to walk away without being fined,” she said.
Fine, from Boca Raton, was interviewed and escorted to the rental car area, authorities said.
She demanded the plane land after the seat spat, passengers said.
“She said something to the effect of, ‘I don’t care about the consequences. Put this plane down now,’” one flyer told ABC affiliate WPBF.
Fine has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment.
Passengers also said the woman who reclined her seat, infuriating Fine, was an older woman who was knitting. She was not identified.
Last week, two other U.S. flights were diverted because of fights over legroom.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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