Saudi passenger causes United Airlines diversion

21-year-old Saleh Ali Alramakh "interfered with flight crew members".
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of


United Airlines diverted a Frankfurt-bound flight this week, following claims that a Saudi Arabian passenger had “interfered with flight crew members and attendants”. According to Fox News, the aircraft was taxiing at Chicago airport in preparation for Flight 944 when Saleh Ali S. Alramakh entered the bathroom and used an electronic device.

Initial requests for the 21-year-old passenger to switch off the device and return to his seat were refused and although he later seemed to settle, allowing the flight to depart, once in the air he approached a flight attendant in a "belligerent, confrontational manner," stated a news release by the FBI.

"Alramakh was speaking in a loud tone of voice, using profanity, with his face inches from the flight attendant's face," added the FBI statement. “The flight attendant asked Alramakh to step back multiple times, but instead Alramakh shoved the flight attendant backwards against the aircraft.”

Another passenger then decided to grab Alramakh and help the flight crew restrain him, but Alramakh refused to comply with the crew and continued to try to kick and spit on the people around him. As a result, the flight was diverted to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and the passenger is facing federal charges.

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