U.S. Tells Air France Plane Headed for Chicago to Return to Paris

Air France did not immediately say why the United States wanted the flight turned back.


CHICAGO (AP) -- An Air France flight en route to O'Hare International Airport was forced to return to Paris Friday after one of its passengers showed up on the federal no-fly list.

More than two hours after Flight AF050 departed from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport - and before it had entered U.S. airspace - it was ordered to return to Paris, authorities said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the passenger's name while reviewing the flight manifest against the no-fly list, which they do for all international flights, said Lara Uselding, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.

People on the no-fly list are not allowed to board U.S.-bound flights.

Four people were taken off the plane, the flight's captain, Dominique Mure, told the Chicago Tribune. All of them were later released by French officials, but none re-boarded the plane, he said.

Air France officials did not immediately return a call for comment.

The flight, which was originally carrying 291 passengers, departed again late Friday and landed in Chicago around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Passengers who arrived at O'Hare early Saturday said no one on the plane panicked when the plane's crew announced the aircraft would have to return to France because there were people aboard who most likely would not be allowed to enter the United States.

''We figured if they were telling us what they were doing, it couldn't be that bad. It was a relief actually,'' said passenger Sue Graunke, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Darien and was returning home from a trip to Germany.

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