WASHINGTON - A United Airlines flight from Denver landed safely in Washington, D.C., after its crew reported an emergency because a passenger began praying in an aisle.
Two passengers, Christopher Haag and a woman who preferred to remain anonymous, aboard Flight 662 told Washington D.C. radio station WTOP that the man refused to follow a flight attendant's instructions for landing, and was yelling and praying in the aisle.
That is when the pilot declared an emergency.
"Apparently at some point there he refused to sit down when the stewardess told him, and that was about the time we were coming in for approach," Haag told WTOP. "And then I guess she finally got him to sit down. He got back up, then he was mumbling, then kneeled down in the aisle and he started to pray, and about that time a bunch of other passengers went back and they subdued him."
The Boeing 757 was escorted by military jets after the crew declared the emergency. The passenger jet landed at 8:54 Thursday night at Dulles International Airport, about 15 minutes ahead of its scheduled landing.
"There was a bunch of emergency vehicles at the gate when we got there. As soon as (they) got the door open, a lot of cops came on board," said a passenger who didn't want to be identified.
United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy confirmed reports that a passenger wasn't following flight attendant instructions for landing and that's what raised the alarm.
It is against federal law to disobey a flight attendant's instructions.