Aeromexico International Flight Diverted Due To 3 Unruly Passengers

The Mexican carrier Aeromexico had to divert an international flight between Toronto, Canada, and Mexico City, due to three drunken, unruly passengers. Aeromexico’s flight AM617 on March 3, 2022, landed in Houston.

What happened?

Earlier today, an Aeromexico flight between Toronto International Airport (YYZ) and Mexico City International Airport (MEX) was diverted to Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The reason for the diversion was that three unruly passengers put the whole operation at risk.

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Aeromexico operated its flight AM617 onboard a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, registration N105JS, according to data provided by FlightRadar24.com.

An official confirmed local media outlet KHOU 11 News that the plane landed in Houston to take the passengers into custody. The aircraft landed at Bush Intercontinental Airport around 3:30 am. Around one hour later, it departed to Mexico City, where it landed at 7:44 am, local time.

The three passengers onboard the flight were under the influence. According to KHOU,

“The three became belligerent, wouldn’t put their masks back on, and were rude and confrontational with flight staff. The flight attendant advised the pilot, who then made the decision to divert the flight to Bush Intercontinental.”

Nevertheless, no one was charged in connection with the incident. A man and a woman were taken to a sobering center, and US Customs and Border Protection took the other man as he was not allowed to enter the United States.

Simple Flying reached Aeromexico for comment, but the airline declined to discuss the incident.


Aeromexico diverted

Aeromexico’s flight AM617 between Toronto and Mexico City was diverted to Houston. Photo: FlightRadar24.com.

Unruly passengers on the rise

Worldwide there has been an increase of unruly passengers in the last couple of years. Diverting a scheduled commercial flight due to an unruly passenger onboard is a nightmare for airlines, a Mexican source with knowledge of the industry said. Diversions make a flight unprofitable (due to unforeseen landing fees and fuel expenses) and directly impact other passengers losing flight connections and time in their destination. While in the United States and Canada, the authorities are taking the impact of unruly passengers seriously, Mexico needs a more robust regulation, said the source.


Recently, Delta Air Lines (Aeromexico’s closest partner) and Avianca called for unruly passenger actions worldwide. Delta is looking to have a no-fly list zone shared among US carriers. Meanwhile, Avianca issued a statement saying,

“It is urgent to work on further strengthening the regulation to generate rapid action in the regulation of no-fly lists and other actions that strengthen the regulation and processes in the face of these cases.”


Boeing B737-8MAX XA-MAO Aeroméxico MMMX Jul 24 2021 af 03

There has been an increase of unruly passengers worldwide. Photo: Guillermo Quiroz Martínez via @gquimar.

Unruly passengers in 2022

In 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration had 5,981 unruly passenger reports. The unruly passenger rate was 6.9 incidents per 10,000 flights. According to the FAA, 72% of all the reports were mask-related incidents, and it initiated 1,099 investigations and 350 enforcement actions.

So far, there have been 712 reports of unruly passengers in 2022. Around 66% of these reports have been related to the use of facemasks onboard commercial aircraft. The FAA has initiated 170 investigations and has had 92 enforcement actions.


What do you think the FAA and other civil aviation authorities should do to tackle the rise of unruly passengers? Let us know in the comments below.


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