A US Airways tail rest on the tarmac near an American Airlines plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington. Picture: Jim Watson

Gander, Newfoundland -

An American Airlines official says a London-bound flight from Chicago had to land in eastern Canada so that an unruly passenger could be kicked off the plane.

Airline spokesman Kent Powell told The Associated Press by phone on Saturday that the man had refused to listen to the flight crew's instructions and was handed over to authorities in Gander, Newfoundland, where the plane had to land. He said he didn't have further details about what transpired.

Powell said the plane was being refueled and was expected take off again around midnight for Heathrow Airport. Flight 86 left Chicago at around 6pm CDT and was originally slated to land in London at around 4am local time.

Authorities in Gander didn't immediately respond to phone messages seeking information. - Sapa-AP