Disruptive passenger in Trump cap delays Shanghai flight

The unruly passenger "refused to comply with crew member instructions and became increasingly disruptive when asked to deplane the aircraft", United said in its statement.

The flight left Shanghai three hours after its scheduled departure time and had to stop in San Francisco to re-crew before arriving at Newark at 2.22am on Monday, eight hours after the scheduled arrival time, according to media reports.

Police were unable to persuade him to leave the plane, so passengers were forced to return to the terminal and wait for officers to remove him.

The airline said the flight was delayed due to "operational difficulties".

"He wanted to sit in the whole row by himself", Zimmerman said.

Cellphone video obtained by NBC showed others yelling, "Lock him up".

A source for NBC New York added that the man had initially asked to be upgraded to first class, but when the crew couldn't accommodate his request, he sat down in some empty seats near the rear of the plane and refused to allow any other passengers to sit in his row. And before long, as seen in video, the man was waving his arms and shouting: "I have a seat here!". Fellow passengers, in a mocking nod to the embattled US President, shouted "Lock him up!" as he was escorted back to the boarding gate. "I think he called her Hillary".

Passengers were forced to de-plane at the Shanghai airport while local law enforcement dealt with the matter. But, he was being stubborn and wouldn't move, so eventually United had to just clear the plane.

The hat, which was sported by Donald Trump and his supporters during the American presidential campaign, is said to have provoked some of the incident, according to passengers.

In the long and uneventful hours of the journey, passengers wondered who the man was - if he'd ended up in a Chinese jail, or if he'd been trying to provoke something with his political hat and escalating insults.

  • Zachary Reyes