On Sunday, United flight 1562 from Eagle, Colo., to Newark, N.J., landed early at Denver International Airport after three passengers failed to follow instructions from cabin crew, and got anxious about another traveler who was “sick,” KUSA-TV reports.
On Twitter, one user claiming to be a passenger said that customers were initially told the plane was diverting for "security reasons."
The flight went on to land without issue, and law enforcement officials met the plane on the ground. The small group of “disruptive” passengers was removed from the plane, and the flight continued on to New Jersey about 30 minutes later, per KCNC-TV.
A spokesperson for United Airlines told the outlet that the incident “was in no way a medical situation” and that the unwell passenger was sneezing due to allergies. The person allegedly did not have a fever, airline officials disclosed. The symptomatic passenger had been "coughing and sneezing."
Because the incident occurred midflight, the FBI is now investigating, per KCNC-TV. Though it remains unclear if any charges will be filed moving forward, no one has yet been arrested.
A spokesperson for United was not immediately available to offer further comment.
In related headlines, last week another passenger’s respiratory health similarly caused panic on a plane amid the COVID-19 crisis.
A Thai Airways passenger was restrained by crew after intentionally coughing on a flight attendant. Passengers were reportedly held for more than seven hours on the plane in Shanghai while waiting to receive coronavirus health screenings.