Icelandair said it had to restrain a passenger on a flight from Reykjavik to New York City because he was hitting people, screaming profanities and spitting.
Thursday's incident was getting media attention after a photograph began circulating on the Internet purporting to show the passenger tied to his seat with tape and plastic restraints.
The man who posted the picture to the website Tumblr, Andy Ellwood, said it was taken by a friend on the flight.
Icelandair spokesman Gudjon Arngrimsson said the passenger was bound after his behavior became "unruly and threatening."
"To ensure the safety of those who were on board he was restrained by the crew and passengers and then was monitored for the duration of the flight for his own safety," he said. He said he couldn't validate the photo's authenticity but said airlines commonly carry plastic handcuffs and tape to restrain potentially dangerous passengers.
The airline said police took the man off the plane when it landed at Kennedy Airport at around 6:30 p.m.
Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the airport, told reporters that police took the 46-year-old man to a hospital after determining that he was drunk. No charges were filed, he said. The passenger's name wasn't released.