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Disruptive passengers force Delta Air Lines flight to return to Japan

49 Comments

A Delta Air Lines flight headed for Minneapolis returned to Japan because of some disruptive passengers, authorities said Tuesday.

Delta says the Boeing 747 was three hours into a 13-hour flight on Monday night when the decision was made to turn back to Japan, where the passengers were removed by Japanese authorities.

Narita International Airport police spokesman Keiji Shuto says two male passengers had locked themselves inside the airplane's restrooms for about an hour and refused to come out, prompting the attendants to force open the doors.

Shuto says airline officials found at least one plastic bag containing an unidentified liquid.

He says the men were questioned by Delta, but not arrested by police.

Reports said the pair, who identified themselves as Chinese citizens aged in their 20s, had boarded the flight during an earlier stop in Shanghai.

Japanese immigration officials said they did not have passports.

The one-liter container of liquid held by one of the passengers was later found to be neither toxic nor explosive, airport police said.

© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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49 Comments
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This article doesn't mention it but the "unidentified liquid" was later determined to be urine.

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And here a few weeks back was a commentator boasting about giving flight attendants hell. Please, any time you have 400 people in close proximity on an airplane that can't stop or land we all need to just chill. You're not the only one who feels uncomfortable if we're talking the back of the plane.

"At least one plastic bag" suggests there may be other plastic bags or other objects found. Well, the point is they locked themselves in a bathroom for an hour being outright dicks.

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apparently urine can be used in explosives but they say that about almost anything.

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Well.... I will take a shot in the dark. Booze played a part? Looks like a lot of plans ruined, hotel rooms, man hours, paper work and jet fuel... Guess we wait and see.

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Wow, talk about political correctness. Why can't AP provide the information that the men were Chinese stowaways who boarded without tickets, as so reported on Japanese TV?

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Here you did not mention their state of origin because they are not from Africa, and Police did not arrest them only Delta questioned them. then the content of the bag you never mention it again

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"He says the men were questioned by Delta, but not arrested by police."

Well, I don't know about any jail time, but at the very least they should have to pay a massive fine; they ruined a lot of people's holiday/travel plans, and cost the company a pretty penny to boot.

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How can they be "questioned by Delta, but not arrested by police"?? They disrupted a the travel plans of several hundred people, not to mention Delta's lost time, wages and resources. They must not have had any contraband since they didn't get in trouble, but that's quite special treatment nonetheless. Just curious, Japanese or foreigner?

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Without tickets or valid passports? The article I read yesterday said passports.

http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0517/TKY201005170325.html

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Something like 300gallons of fuel is burnt through just during takeoff. These idiots should be presented with the bill for that and a whole lot more live on national TV.

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He says the men were questioned by Delta, but not arrested by police

WTF....how about being pounded by each and every person who you disrupted because of the returned flight.

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yea...ryoken is written "travel ticket" but means passport.

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You do not force open those toilet doors. You just lift up the aluminum hinge on the front and slide the opener. I do it all the time when the stewardess' try to keep one toilet for themselves....and that is usually on delta. I hate that when they do that and lie and tell you it is broken.

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Guess they were Japanese, otherwise the "gaijin" moniker would have been paraded in the headline.

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This could be a reason why that Japanese man tried to bring a stun gun onboard a flight last week. Once they opened the doors, they could taser them and continue the flight. If they were Japanese guys, Delta would want them detained in Japan, so returning to Narita made sense. If they were other nationality, bringing them to U.S. would make it a terror investigation.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/japanese-man-arrested-for-trying-to-take-stun-gun-on-plane-in-honolulu

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what the hell? More info please

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AP shouldn't be in the business of news reporting if they couldn't provide a detailed/complete report to the public...

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If they were Japanese guys, Delta would want them detained in Japan, so returning to Narita made sense. If they were other nationality, bringing them to U.S. would make it a terror investigation.

I agree with that. The Americans would have handled the matter as a terror investigation and those responsible would have not seen the light of a day for years to come if the plane landed in the U.S.

The Japanese protecting their own. It would have been another humiliating blow to the J-government to have J-nationals arrested, carried off the plane in hand-cuffs and treated harshly by the authorities and the media.

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Here's a link that fleshes out the story a bit more.

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/tokyo-minneapolis-delta-flight-urine-bag-may-18-2010

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just a couple of chaps trying to save some money on airfare. I hardly see a problem.

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How sad both Delta and AP are withholding information, as for J-media it is not so unexpected.

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aaahhh, they are Chinese from Shanghai and did not have plane tickets ( and possible no passport). Somehow they got onto the plane without tickets. The plane originated in Shanghai and stopped over for cleaning in Tokyo. Perhaps they hid somewhere on the plane after landing from Shanghai. Not sure why it took 1 hour to get them out of a toilet. One hour is a looooong time.

I think there will be more details later. From another new source:

Delta said it is cooperating with Japanese authorities in an ongoing investigation, but they declined to comment further.

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@gotalife.... yep, thx... definitely sheds more light. Chinese from Shanghai, with no tickets who managed to go undetected in the turnover phase...

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The title should be "cheapskate Chinese foiled in plan to get a free ride"

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Maybe they had really bad diarrhea?

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If those idiots landed in the US they would have been ruined.

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I agree, they are lucky they weren't brought to the US or they would be doing 50 to 120 years in Super-Max.

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Must have been Japanese... If they were anyone else, directly to Jail with them. No Names? Interesting. No Fly List Please!

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God... they would be Chinese wouldnt they? Always in trouble and up to no good.

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how can security even remotely have mitigating circumstances for these people to be on a plane w/o passports???..........what the ......

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Finally Sci-fi became real! This is probably the first experiment of human teleporation. Made in Japan..of course ! :-D

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Dis someone say the unidentified liquid turned out to be urine? Hahahaha! So the stowaways used a plastic bag as a toilet when they were hiding elsewhere (god knows where), and were probably emptying them into the toilets on board?!?! They would have been better off trying to sneak into the US by SWIMMING across the ocean rather than by plane... albeit, they almost got away with it. If they do turn out to be stowaways, I'm sure the Chinese airport authorities will get the third degree.

Lots of negative racial stereotype comments here by the way on Japanese, Chinese... wow.

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The report said that the two men did not have PASSPORTS.. it does not say that they did not have plane tickets. What caused the trouble on the flight was that the two men locked themselves in a restroom together for an hour and refused to come out.. then they are found to be possessing some strange substance in a plastic bag.. speculation runs all the way from attempted terrorism to just two kinki gay men wanting to join the 'mile-high club'o0 locking themselves in the restroom was the foolish act that caused the intial problem.. then the strange liquid only made the situation potentially dangerous.. baka baka baka! The airline did the right thing by returning to the nearest airport.

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If they'd landed in the US they could try to claim political asylum...

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just a couple of chaps trying to save some money on airfare. I hardly see a problem.

hardly see a problem... I see this kind of rude selfish behaviour too much and it is one of the stereotype reasons or things about Chinese that Japanese commonly report a dislike to. … there will be the typical kind of comments after Japanese hearing this story

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Probably they flushed their passports down the toilet or dissolved them in the liquid in the bag. A large number of Chinese ditch their passports after getting into the plane and then refuse to tell the foreign immigration officials that they are from China. Without clear evidence that they are indeed Chinese citizens, the Chinese government won't let another country to wishing deport them to send them to China. They then stay in the foreign country and hope for an amnesty or a good lawyer. I was once in the men's room in Vancouver Airport just before the passport check booth when Mounties burst in and dragged away a Chinese guy, asking him what he had been flushing down the toilet. I thought it must've have been drugs, but learned it was more likely to have been a passport. Also learned they must have cameras in the men's rooms at Vancouver Airport, at least in the ones between the airplane ramps and the immigration booths.

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noborito at 03:33 PM JST - 19th May Must have been Japanese... If they were anyone else, directly to Jail >with them. No Names? Interesting. No Fly List Please!

This story can be found all over. The flight emanated from Shanghai, stopped at Narita then headed to the US. The toilet guys were Chinese.

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This is definitely embarrassing for China. With a cool $1.5 Trillion US in the bank from trade surpluses, you'd think its citizens would want to stay at "home" and get a better job...considering how badly the US is going down the tube from an economic standpoint.

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Reports said the pair, who identified themselves as Chinese citizens aged in their 20s, had boarded the flight during an earlier stop in Shanghai.

So, the Shanghai airport security let these guys pass to the gate, huh?

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WTF?

"Japanese immigration officials said they did not have passports."

And they weren't arrested?

Unlike the U.S., you have to pass through immigration and show a passport to leave Japan. How they hell did they get on the plane in the first place? Even if the boarded the plane in Shanghai and did not deplane at Narita, the Chinese government now no longer requires passports for international travel? Well, I think pretty much the rest of the world does.

maxtheitpro at 02:35 AM JST - 20th May This is definitely embarrassing for China.

Is it actually possible to embarrass the Chinese? I mean, "officially"?

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#seaforte03 at 08:02 PM JST - 19th May If they'd landed in the US they could try to claim political asylum...

That might have worked in about 1979. Now, not likely.

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WTF?

"Japanese immigration officials said they did not have passports."

And they weren't arrested?

Unlike the U.S., you have to pass through immigration and show a passport to leave Japan. How they hell did they get on the plane in the first place? Even if the boarded the plane in Shanghai and did not deplane at Narita, the Chinese government now no longer requires passports for international travel? Well, I think pretty much the rest of the world does.

They didn't have passports with them at the time they were detained by officials. It does not mean they didn't have passports when they got on in China (they didn't board on in Japan).

As mentioned by other posters, sometimes people conveniently "lose" their passports then try to claim asylum.

The article says "Not arrested by police" it doesn't mean they aren't still being detained by other government authorities (eg Immigration detention) which is different from being arrested by Narita Airport Police.

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Captain Obvious here, but they never passed through Japanese immigration because they are stowaways and never left the plane after it went from Shanghai to Narita. The liquid they had was probably to keep them hydrated for the long flight to America. They managed to get on - with or without passports - because security in Shanghai is lax. Come on, give Captain Obvious a break here this should all be obvious now.

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Yeah, the asylum strategy is definitely possible as that's the only way to get through US immigration check at LAX without a passport. If you are a legitimate refugee, they will take you however you managed to get there.

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#bdiego at 04:12 AM JST - 20th May Yeah, the asylum strategy is definitely possible as that's the only way to get through US immigration check at LAX without a passport. If you are a legitimate refugee, they will take you however you managed to get there.

Again, as I posted above, it's not 1979 and China is now the U.S. bestest buddy. The U.S. is no longer interested in garden variety economic refugees, especially in the middle of the worst recession in decades. If they were high-ranking party officials, that would be a different matter. Otherwise, they'd be held in detention here just as I hope is the case at Narita.

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was probably just some lube. george michael would be proud! I would be pretty upset if a couple of douchebags like that messed with my flight. I hope someone at least nudged them in the ribs a little.

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"they did not have passports"

How the heck did they ever get on the plane? Who do they think they are, Arnold Schwarzenegger, ha ha!

Cripes, couldn't these two have been restrained and arrested in Minneapolis instead of inconveniencing all the other passengers?

"The one-liter container of liquid held by one of the passengers"

Cripes, I wouldn't be surprised if they ban sales of all drinks at airport gate shops now...

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Two men, one toilet and a "plastic bag" containing an unidentified liquid, ew.

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Sarge, when ever it suits you, think,

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