19 Hour Flight From Hell

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FT. LAUDERDALE, FL. (CNN) - It was only supposed to take five hours...a cross country flight from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Instead, it took 19 hours!
An unruly passenger caused the lengthy nightmare for passengers and crew.
Sandra Endo has the story.
"Man, what a mess at this time in the morning."
You can hear the frustration over the air traffic radio...
"I have no idea where we're going."
Spirit flight 310, was a red-eye scheduled to go from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale, Florida this past weekend. But over Texas, an elderly passenger in his 80s became disruptive.
"This man was like touching everybody who was going to the bathroom. Don't letting nobody going to the bathroom come out to their seats, kicking the walls, you know like crazy."
Complicating matters, the man's condition...
"We think he's blind, think he might have Alzheimer's, he's not getting up out of his seat because he needed a wheelchair to get to his seat so he's not threatening the flight deck. We think he might be off his medicine."
And a language barrier.
"We believe the man speaks French and that's the only language he knows. So if you have anybody who speaks French down there that would help us with this situation."
Pilots said they did not believe the man to be a physical threat, but diverted the plane to Houston.
"That presented other problems. Spirit does not fly to bush intercontinental airport, so it took additional time to find a gate and pilots who could fly the remainder of the flight without violating FAA work hour rules."
"It was terrible. It was unreal. It was painful. 19 hours. 19 hours we were in this mess."
Spirit said it flew in another aircraft and crew as quickly as possible to take customers to Fort Lauderdale. The airline said it apologizes for the inconvenience, but said safety is its top priority and it will provide full refunds to passengers.