Airline passenger forces WestJet plane back to Toronto with coronavirus claim

Video has emerged of an airline passenger who was allegedly arrested Monday after making an “unfounded claim” about being infected with the coronavirus aboard a recent WestJet flight bound for Jamaica, the Toronto Sun reported Wednesday.

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The “unruly” passenger’s claim forced the plane to divert back to Toronto Pearson International Airport, WestJet confirmed.

“WestJet flight 2702 from Toronto to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica, diverted back to Toronto due to an unruly guest,” the airline wrote in a statement shared with Fox News. “We sincerely apologize to the 243 guests who were affected by this unfortunate situation.”


The passenger was identified as a 29-year-old from Ontario, Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

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In the short video, the passenger, dressed in a pink hoodie and wearing a mask, is seen being escorted by a flight attendant down the aisle of the plane to apparently retrieve his carry-on luggage as fellow passengers apparently cheer and jeer him, the Sun reported.

A passenger who spoke with the CBC also claimed to have seen the passenger stand up from his seat, announce he had recently been to China and claim he had contracted the coronavirus. He also attempted to take a selfie or a video, the witness said.

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"The flight attendants came, gave him a mask and gloves and just told him that he had to move to the back of the plane," Julie-Anne Broderick told the CBC.

WestJet’s statement said law enforcement officials met the plane after it landed back in Toronto.

“Out of an abundance of caution, our crew followed all protocols for infectious disease on board, including sequestering an individual who made an unfounded claim regarding Coronavirus.”