A Honolulu-bound Delta Air Lines Inc. jet was diverted to San Francisco when a female passenger became unruly after smoking in the lavatory, federal officials said.
Delta Flight 511 from Cincinnati, Ohio was over the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday when the passenger had "a complete meltdown freakout," said a fellow passenger who called The Associated Press from the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport.
The flight was turned around after a pilot tried to quell the disturbance, said Elizabeth Oglesby of Atlanta.
"She appeared to be out of her mind. Upset. Belligerent," Oglesby said. "He threatened to handcuff her if she didn't calm down. At that point she hit him in the chest."
Delta spokeswoman Chris Kelly said the pilot was not struck.
The woman was taken to the hospital by ambulance after the plane landed.
Officials with the Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration did not immediately release the name of the passenger and it was not clear if she would face criminal charges. It is a federal crime to smoke on a commercial flight.
Kelly said the Boeing 767 landed safely and resumed its flight about an hour later.