TRAVEL
01/25/2012 03:10 pm ET

Cigarette Causes United Flight Diversion, Man Arrested

A passenger who lit a cigarette on a Continental Airlines plane caused the flight to be diverted Tuesday night.

The flight was bound from Houston to Ontario, California, but had to be diverted to San Antonio, reports KHOU.

The unidentified man apparently refused to put out the cigarette and fought with the flight attendant. He was arrested by the San Antonio police and taken into FBI custody, according to San Antonio Express-News.

San Antonio police Capt. Cris Andersen told the paper that the passenger could face federal charges.

According to the TSA website, common lighters are allowed in carry-on luggage, but not checked bags unless they are drained of lighter fluid.

As far as the legality of smoking on planes, calls to United and the TSA to discuss oversight were not returned as of press time.

Last week a California man was arrested for smoking marijuana in the lavatory of a JetBlue flight. He believed he did nothing wrong because he has a medical marijuana card, but air travel falls under federal jurisdiction.

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