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High Flyers May Pay Price

A British tour operator said Monday it may bill the brawling passengers who forced a Jamaica-bound jet to make an unscheduled stop in Virginia.

"We are currently considering action to be taken against these customers which may include the 15,000 to 20,000 pound [approximately $30,000] cost of diverting the flight," Airtours International said in a statement.

The Boeing 767 charter, flying from London to Montego Bay on Sunday, made an unplanned stop in Norfolk, Virginia, where a dozen rowdy passengers were removed from the plane.

A spokesman for Norfolk International Airport said the 12 English and Irish passengers became unruly after drinking alcohol.

But two of the people involved have complained they were treated unfairly.

"It's rough justice," a female passenger told Sky Television News. "We're getting our solicitor when we get home."

Another woman said, "Two people had a simple argument and because we were in one group the extra 10 got shoved off."

The incident occurred while the flight was about 560 miles off the East Coast. The disruption included shouting, and one traveler threw a drink on another.

"Calming techniques employed by the crew failed to quell the situation and the captain decided to divert the plane for the safety of crew and other passengers on board," the company said.

FBI agents and airport police questioned the 12 passengers, but none were charged. The remaining 313 passengers continued on to Jamaica.

Airtours said it would not honor any part of the ejected passengers' contracts, and expected them to make their own arrangements to return home.

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