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Flight Diverted Due to Kidnapping

A United flight to Beijing was diverted after they found out there was a parent on board traveling out of the country with her child with possibly no intention on returning back to this country:

The United Airlines flight departed Virginia’s Dulles International Airport at 12:39 p.m. When it reached Canadian air space, the FBI ordered the Boeing 777 back to Virginia after learning a kidnapping suspect was on board.

Flight 897 landed back at Dulles five hours after its departure.

I recommend checking out the whole article.

The interesting part to me was that the pilot told the passengers that there was a mechanical error to keep things calm and to keep the suspect completely unaware.

According to the article, if the plane diverted into Canada instead of turning back to the United States, this would have been a much more complicated case.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. I trust the pilot’s judgment. Had he told them the truth, who knows what the mother would have done up there in the air.

    In addition, I wonder whether the FBI would have found the mother/child if they flew a different route to go to China (i.e. stopover in Canada or via Europe.)

  2. I do wonder why they didn’t fly on to a western hub and drop off the two there and continue, which would save tens of thousands of dollars in fuel. It wouldn’t shock me if it would cost less to fly an A319 with mom/kid alone than to dump 40k gallons of fuel.

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