Flight diverted after ‘belligerent’ passenger tried twice to light cigarette, police say

An Alaska Airlines flight from San Francisco to Philadelphia was diverted Wednesday after a belligerent passenger twice tried to light up a cigarette.

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"Due to a disruptive passenger onboard and out of an abundance of caution, (Flight 1138) was diverted to Chicago and landed at 4:22 a.m. local time," an airline spokeswoman told NBC News.

Chicago police said a passenger tried to light a cigarette and was asked to put it out by a flight attendant, NBC News reported. Shortly after, the man started pacing up and down the aisle. He grew increasingly belligerent and tried to light up again, CNN reported.

The flight was about an hour from landing in Philadelphia when it was diverted to Chicago, where the man was escorted off the plane and taken into federal custody, NBC News reported. It is unclear whether charges will be filed.

The plane was refueled and departed O’Hare International Airport about an hour later. The plane safely landed in Philadelphia at 6:50 a.m.

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