Auckland to Chile flight turned back over 'disruptive passenger'

A plane flight path showing it turned around in a figure eight pattern.
Photo credit: Flight Radar 24

A flight from Auckland to Chile was forced to turn around on Friday night, due to problems with a passenger.

LATAM flight LA800 was forced to turn around 750km out of New Zealand, landing back in Auckland three hours after it left.

The plane was supposed to fly for 11 hours, but the turn was made just over an hour into the journey.

A LATAM spokesperson told Newshub the plane's pilot asked police to be there when the plane landed due to the passenger's behaviour.

"[The flight] had to return to Auckland due to a disruptive passenger, approximately one hour and 15 minutes after take-off," the spokesperson said.

"The decision was made in line with established operational and safety protocols, designed to safeguard passenger welfare.

"The aircraft arrived safely in Auckland at 20:14 local time and was greeted by local authorities to escort said passenger. No harm was met by passengers or crew."

A police spokesperson said the incident on the flight only involved one passenger.

"The person was taken into police custody, and they remain in custody under the Immigration Act."