American Airlines passengers held for flu test


Passengers on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles were detained for several hours in Tokyo after Japanese officials suspected one passenger of having swine flu, according to the airline.

The 37 passengers and two flight attendants were released eight to 10 hours later when the passenger, a Japanese woman coming back from Las Vegas, tested negative for swine flu, American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said Monday.

They were on Flight 167, which left Los Angeles Sunday afternoon for the 5,500-mile flight lasting about 11 hours. Smith said the flight, on a 245-seat Boeing 777, was nearly full.

After arriving, Japanese officials pulled one female passenger aside and took her to a hospital for a flu test, while passengers who had been seated near her and two flight attendants who worked in that part of the plane were sequestered at a hotel, Smith said.

Smith said none of the passengers displayed flu-like symptoms during the flight but that one passenger was pulled aside based on a reading from a device intended to measure body heat for possible fevers.