American passenger bites flight attendant, forcing plane to return to Tokyo, airline says

An American airline passenger allegedly bit a female cabin crew member mid-flight on Tuesday, forcing an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight bound for Seattle to return to Tokyo, an airline spokesperson said.

Flight ANA 118 departed Tokyo’s Haneda Airport at 9:47 p.m. local time and turned around a little over an hour into its journey, according to flight-tracking website Flightradar24.

An ANA spokesperson told CNN that the male passenger was detained by police after the plane landed in the Japanese capital. They did not name him.

The female flight attendant sustained minor injuries, the spokesperson said.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department declined to provide further details on the case.

It’s not the first case of alleged mid-air biting. In 2022, two passengers were given hefty fines for hitting and biting crew and other passengers on separate flights with US carriers American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

They were fined $81,950 and $77,272 respectively – the two largest penalties ever levied by the Federal Aviation Administration against individual passengers for acting out on aircraft.

Several incidents have been reported this month of bad behavior and aggression from passengers – including an American Airlines flight that was diverted to a Texas airport on January 3 after a passenger allegedly punched a flight attendant and assaulted at least one police officer.

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