LAX airport police confirmed the incident to BuzzFeed News, saying the All Nippon Airways flight to Tokyo’s Narita Airport turned back to Los Angeles International Airport four hours into the scheduled 11-hour flight due to a “mix-up and was straightened up.”
Authorities were told to have a unit and supervisors present when the plane arrived back in Los Angeles, local media reported.
According to the airline though, all is well.
In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, ANA said the flight safely returned to LAX at 7:33 p.m.
“During the flight, the cabin crew became aware that one of the passengers boarded the incorrect flight and notified the pilot. As part of the airline’s security procedure, the pilot in command decided to return to the originating airport, where the passenger was disembarked,” the statement said.
“ANA would like to express its apologies to the passengers for the inconvenience. We take great pride providing exemplary customer service, and on this flight we failed to do so.”
An investigation is underway to determine how the passenger was able to board the wrong flight. However, the airline said it supported the pilot’s decision to turn back.
“At the time during the flight, the pilot in command was presented with information about the discrepancy in the passenger manifest. Based on the available information in flight, he made the correct decision to return to LAX,” the airline said in a statement. “ANA supports the decision of the pilot, out of the abundance of caution and safety for the passengers and crew onboard.”