A United Airlines airplane is seen at the Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, United States. (Ayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty)

United Airlines flight to Israel turns back to US mid-flight after 2 passengers who assigned themselves seats in business class started a ‘riot,’ reports say

  • A United Airlines flight to Tel Aviv turned back to New York due to two disruptive passengers.
  • The passengers refused to provide proof of allocated seated in business class, per Israeli media.
  • They “started a riot” about an hour and a half into the flight, according to an eyewitness account.

A United Airlines flight to Tel Aviv, Israel turned back to New York, mid-flight, on Friday after two passengers caused a “riot” on the aircraft, per reports.

The passengers, both Israeli, seated themselves in business class seats on the half-empty flight, according to Israeli media. United Airlines told Insider that 123 out of a maximum of 330 passengers were on board the Boeing 787-10.

When flight attendants asked the Israeli passengers for proof that they were sitting in their assigned seats, The Jerusalem Post reported that they refused to show their tickets.

Roi Lotan, who was on United flight 90, told Israeli broadcaster News 12 that the passengers became disruptive and “a riot started” about an hour and a half into the flight.

The pilot then turned back to Newark Liberty International Airport, Lotan said.

FlightAware’s flight tracking website shows that the flight was diverted near the US-Canada border between Maine and New Brunswick.

Read the article by Joshua Zitser in Business Insider Australia.