US Airways flight diverted, passengers questioned

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 13, 2011 12:48 PM
US Airways flight diverted, passengers questioned

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - A transcontinental US Airways flight was diverted to St. Louis on Tuesday after a report of suspicious behavior by three passengers, federal officials said.

US Airways flight 457 from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Phoenix landed safely at about 7:50 a.m. local time at the request of the flight crew, the Transportation Security Administration said.

"The plane was swept with negative findings and cleared to continue," the TSA said in a statement.

The airplane left St. Louis later Tuesday morning and the three passengers were being interviewed by law enforcement officials, FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Wu said.

The flight, which had 128 passengers and five crew members, "was diverted out of an abundance of caution because of a security concern," US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder said.

The incident came just days after military fighter jets escorted two U.S. commercial flights into New York and Detroit on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks following reports of suspicious activity by passengers.

After questioning, none of the passengers on those escorted flights faced charges.

(Reporting by Bruce Olson in St. Louis, Daniel Trotta in New York and David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Greg McCune)