American Airlines aircraft. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

It was a hellish ride for the passengers of American Airlines flight 2408 last week, when one traveller became unruly - forcing the pilot to land the plane.

According to reports, a man on board the flight hit the seats with his fist, yelled at fellow passengers and even lit a cigarette

One passenger Jim Dickey spoke to CNN and said the passenger: "punched the seat in front of him and the lady screamed... the guy right behind me switched seats to the aisle in case things went awry."

The man's tirade didn't end there, he reportedly stormed off to the bathroom - which is where he lit a cigarette - and he could be heard screaming "you're all screwed."

Shortly after the commotion and when airline staff tried to handle the situation, the pilot announced that the plane was making an unscheduled stop in Denver.

It was there that the unruly passenger was removed from the flight.

CNN also reports that a spokeswoman for American Airlines Whitney Zastrow said: "Law enforcement met the flight, and the aircraft re-departed... thank you to our crew members for taking care of our customers during this situation."

The flight took off a second time and landed without incident in Minneapolis.