Smoking family stops flight

A plane from Halifax on its way to the Dominican Republic was forced to make an emergency landing because a family on board was openly smoking in their seats, a spokesman for a Canadian tour operator said Monday.

Daryl McWilliams of the Sunwing Travel Group said the plane carrying 180 passengers and crew members was diverted to the L.F. Wade International Airport in Bermuda on Friday night because a mother, father and son refused to butt out.

"Most people that try to smoke do it surreptitiously, and of course they still get caught," McWilliams said from Toronto.

"From what I understand, these people did it openly, as if in some sort of protest. It makes you scratch your head.

"Maybe they wanted an Andy Warhol moment. They got it."

A 54-year-old man, a 52-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man were arrested after the plane landed and later released on bail, the Bermuda Police Service said on Sunday. The police did not return messages Monday.

He said the cost of the unexpected detour was around $40,000 and the airline is considering recovering that loss from the family.

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