Airline passenger makes 'unfounded claim' of carrying the coronavirus, forces plane to turn around

An airline passenger was reportedly arrested Monday after making an “unfounded claim” about being infected with the coronavirus aboard a recent WestJet flight bound for Jamaica.

As a result of the “unruly” passenger’s claim, the flight was forced to divert back to its origin at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, WestJet confirmed.

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“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.”

WestJet added that 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.”

“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," the airline shared in a statement.

“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," the airline shared in a statement. (iStock)

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The airline declined to provide additional information “due to the involvement of law enforcement.”

The unruly passenger, however, has been identified as a 29-year-old from Ontario, Canada, according to the CBC.

A passenger who spoke with the outlet also claimed to have seen him stand up from his seat, announce that he had recently been to China, and start claiming 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.

Shortly afterward, she said the plane made a “dramatic turn” over Florida and headed back to Toronto.

Upon landing, the man was arrested and charged with mischief. He’s due in court in March, the CBC reported.

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WestJet, meanwhile, confirmed to Fox News that the airline added an “extra segment flight” for Tuesday to make up for the cancellations of flights 2702 and 2703.