Drunk Passenger Forces Flight to Return to Philly International: Police

By David Chang and Dan Stamm
|  Thursday, Aug 8, 2013  |  Updated 9:44 AM EDT
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Drunk Man Forces Flight to Return to Philly: Police

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A U.S. Airways flight heading to Barcelona turned around and landed back at Philly International due to a drunk passenger Wednesday night, according to police.

Police say U.S. Airways flight 742 took off at 7:51 p.m. and returned to Philly at 9:47 p.m. The plane turned around after an intoxicated passenger became unruly during the flight, according to police. Brenda Pfahnl, a passenger on the flight, claimed the passenger was threatening the lives of airline employees. The unidentified man was taken into custody.

No one was hurt. The flight was scheduled to leave again at 1:15 a.m. Thursday but never did due to a mechanical problem. Once the problem was fixed it was too late for the crew on board -- they had times out and weren't allowed to fly, according to US Air.

The airline is trying to get passengers on another UA Air Barcelona-bound flight scheduled for Thursday or by putting passengers on another airline.

Earlier Wednesday, a plane from Ireland landed in Philadelphia after an "unsubstantiated" threat, according to Philadelphia Police. Sources close to that investigation say it was a bomb threat called in to the Philadelphia Airport by an unknown male.

After investigating, federal agents and local police said the threat was unfounded.

As a precaution, the plane was taken to a remote area of the airport so that Philadelphia police and Homeland Security could search passengers and luggage.

All 171 passengers and 8 crew members were escorted off the plane and loaded onto buses. They were taken to a secure area and screened as well as interviewed. Luggage was also removed and screened. Bomb-sniffing dogs went through the plane, which is standard procedure. 

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