Family Smokes on Plane; Flight Diverted to Arrest Offenders

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REUTERS/Keith BedfordA JetBlue aircraft makes its way from the terminal at JFK International Airport in New York

A family, smoking on a plane against regulations, has sparked a security alert, forcing the flight to divert from its set course and land early so the entire family could be taken off the plane.

The flight in question was traveling from Halifax to the Dominican Republic when the family started smoking. Flight stewards confronted the family about their smoking, telling them to stop, however, they refused to listen. According to reports from other passengers, when confronted about breaching the flight rules, the family members became loud and abusive to flight staff.

The flight captain diverted the flight and landed in Bermuda so that the family could be taken off the plane and arrested.

According to Fox News, when the flight landed, police officers boarded the plane and arrested the family in the cabin before taking them off.

"It appeared to be a father, a mother and a son. The parents appear to be in their 50s. The son, I believe, is around 22 or so," said acting Insp. Paul Simons.

According to reports the family were hiding their cigarettes, and taking it in turns to visit the bathroom on the plane to smoke.

Charges are likely to be brought against the family, and they will likely face a hefty fine for disobeying flight regulations and not abiding by flight attendants' commands.

The incident took place on a Sunwing Airlines flight. Daryl McWilliams, vice-president of media relations with the airline, said: "I cannot believe that passengers did this. I'll bet you it's been 20 years since smoking was allowed on an aircraft. I couldn't believe it when I heard it."