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New Grounds for Diverting a Plane: Unsolicited Karaoke

In many instances, airlines seem to assume that passengers have a pretty high threshold for discomfort and inconvenience. Yes, they seem to think, you can handle sitting on a tarmac for a few hours, perhaps with no A/C or working toilets. You’re tough, right?

But according to a recent CNN report, American Airlines has declared a limit to what humans should have to put up with while in transit, and the repeated singing of “I Will Always Love You” is clearly over the line.

According to the report, a  passenger on an LAX-to-JFK flight this past Thursday would not stop performing the Dolly Parton-penned classic for her fellow passengers, and would not cooperate with the federal air marshals. The flight was ultimately diverted to Kansas City where the passenger  was “detained, not arrested, and then released, pending further investigation,” according to Tom McKenna, a Kansas City International Airport spokesman.

A resourceful passenger reportedly got video of the woman—who cited her diabetes as the catalyst for her torch-song-belting behavior—as she was escorted off the plane, still singing.  (“So goodbye/Please don’t cry/We both know I’m not what you need … And I….”)

The incident does merit a tip of the hat to our federal air marshals: of all the threats they are trained to respond to, shutting down a pervasive earworm is probably not one of them.

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