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Another Plane Forced To Divert After Passengers Fight Over Reclining Seat

A Miami to Paris flight was diverted after a man became enraged at a woman for reclining her seat. It was the second flight in a week to be grounded over the issue.

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An American Airlines flight from Miami to France was diverted to Boston Wednesday after a 61-year-old man started fighting with another passenger for reclining her seat.

Josh Noel/Chicago Tribune / MCT

Undercover air marshals on the flight restrained Edmund Alexandre, a Paris-born man, after he grabbed the arm of a flight attendant who had tried to intervene.

Alexandre was taken to a Boston hospital for a pre-existing health condition and was arraigned the following day on charges of interfering with a flight crew.

The flight continued on to Paris without Alexandre Wednesday.

The incident comes just four days after another flight was diverted, after a passenger used a product called Knee Defender to stop the seat in front from reclining.


The woman, who was unable to recline because of the Knee Defender, got in a verbal argument with the man behind her and then poured a cup of water on his head.

Both passengers had paid more to be seated in United's Economy Plus section, which offers extra legroom.

The flight from Newark to Denver was diverted to Chicago, where the two unidentified passengers were not allowed back on the plane, United said.

A third plane flying from Toronto to Cuba was diverted this week, but not over a recline fight.


The Sunwing fight was diverted after two women became intoxicated while drinking alcohol purchased from a duty-free shop and lit a cigarette in the bathroom, sounding the plane's smoke alarm.

The two women then began fighting with each other, and also made a threat against the aircraft, "which was considered non-credible given their condition," said airline spokeswoman Janine Chapman.

Fighter jets escorted the plane back to Canada and the two women were taken into custody when the plane landed in Toronto.

Melana Muzikante and Lilia Ratmanski from Ontario were charged Thursday with smoking on board an aircraft, endangering the safety of an aircraft, mischief endangering life, mischief over $5,000 and uttering threats, CBC News reported. They have been released on $2,500 bail each.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at

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