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‘Kissing’ couple prompt scare onboard plane

Gaby Leslie
12 September 2011
Security checks out a Frontier Airlines plane on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 at Detroit's Metropolitan Airport.   Police detained three passengers in Detroit after the crew of the Frontier Airlines flight from Denver reported suspicious activity on board and NORAD officials sent two F-16 jets to shadow the flight until it landed safely, the airline and federal officials said. Frontier Flight 623, with 116 passengers on board, landed without incident in Detroit after the crew reported that two people were spending "an extraordinarily long time" in a bathroom, Frontier spokesman Peter Kowalchuck said. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Elizabeth Conley)
Security checks out a Frontier Airlines plane on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 at Detroit's Metropolitan Airport. Police detained three passengers in Detroit after the crew of the Frontier Airlines flight from Denver reported suspicious activity on board and NORAD officials sent two F-16 jets to shadow the flight until it landed safely, the airline and federal officials said. Frontier Flight 623, with 116 passengers on board, landed without incident in Detroit after the crew reported that two people were spending "an extraordinarily long time" in a bathroom, Frontier spokesman Peter Kowalchuck said. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Elizabeth Conley)

Two F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to shadow a US plane yesterday after two passengers locked themselves in the toilet for “an extraordinarily long time,” an airline spokesman has said.

According to reports, the suspicious activity later turned out to be one couple caught in a mid-air clinch in the toilet.

US TV network ABC reported that officials told them that the unruly passengers were just “making out” onboard the domestic flight from Denver destined for Detroit.

The Frontier Airlines Flight 623 landed safely at 4pm local time where it was met by SWAT police and searched by authorities.

According to witness, Ilona Hajdar, of Michigan, two men and a woman were escorted off the plane. The passengers were detained for questioning, however no charges were made

It is still unclear as to why a third passenger was also escorted from the plane.

Airline spokesman Peter Kowalchuck said baggage was removed from the plane for inspection by sniffer dogs.

Another passenger Belinda Duggan, of Michigan, spoke of the drama: “All of a sudden, a SWAT team went through and saying, please place your hands on the seat in front of you.”

The incident came after the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) put US airspace on heightened alert on Sunday - the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The FBI said that NORAD scrambled the fighter jets to shadow the plane “out of an abundance of caution.”

But FBI Detroit spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said authorities ultimately determined there was no real threat.

“Due to the anniversary of September 11, all precautions were taken, and any slight inconsistency was taken seriously. The public would rather us err on the side of caution than not.”