November 20, 2015
A flight scheduled to take New Jersey Governor Chris Christie from San Francisco to Boston Friday morning was delayed after a passenger was reportedly removed and those on board the aircraft were individually searched.
United Airlines Flight 1108 had boarded at San Francisco International (SFO) on time for an 8:32 a.m. departure, but shortly before take-off the pilot announced the aircraft would return to the gate due to "operational difficulties," MyFoxBoston reports.
A FOX25 employee who was aboard the plane said that after about 45 minutes, passengers were removed from the flight five at a time and individually searched. Some were also cotton swabbed, according to the employee.
A member of Christie's campaign confirmed to The Hill that one passenger was removed from the flight.
“Governor Christie, an aide and a member of his security detail were traveling on a United flight from San Francisco to Boston this morning when a passenger was removed from the plane before takeoff at the request of United Airlines,” spokeswoman Maria Comella said in a statement.
Contrary to rumors, Comella said Christie did not interact with the passenger at any point and there was no physical or verbal threat to the governor.
Christie had attended a fundraiser Thursday night in Atherton, California, and was set to return to the East Coast for a campaign event Friday night in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.
According to the SFO website, the flight departed around 5:00 p.m. EST.