A Tokyo-bound flight from Los Angeles returned to LAX on Tuesday four hours into its journey when the crew discovered that one of the passengers had mistakenly boarded the wrong flight. The captain of the All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight made the decision to turn around as part of company security procedures, and though the airline apologized to the other passengers of the flight, it ultimately supported the pilot’s decision.

“During the flight, the cabin crew became aware that one of the passengers boarded the incorrect flight and notified the pilot,” ANA said in a statement. “As part of the airline’s security procedure, the pilot in command decided to return to the originating airport, where the passenger was disembarked. ANA is researching the situation currently to determine how the passenger boarded the flight. ANA would like to express its apologies to the passengers for the inconvenience. We take great pride providing exemplary customer service, and on this flight we failed to do so.”

The airline said that, despite the decision, there is no mandatory regulation that forced it to turn around. An aviation expert even said that the U-turn, in addition to being unnecessary, could have put the passengers at a greater risk.

“To spend four hours flying back to Los Angeles with the guy on the airplane when you don’t really know what’s going on is not the safest way to go,” Denny Kelly, a former airline captain, said. “It messed a bunch of things up and didn’t hurt anybody. But it could’ve.”

The flight left Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 11:36 local time on Tuesday bound for Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT). It returned to LAX at 19:33.

Among those onboard the flight were model Chrissy Teigen and musician John Legend, her husband. Teigen sent over two dozen tweets as the situation unfolded. A sample of her messages is below.

At the time, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said that the agency conducted interviews but made no arrests. However, the FBI said earlier today that it will be weighing criminal charges against the two brothers involved, one of whom was ticketed on ANA and the other on United.

The two allegedly used a single boarding pass to get on the flight. Law enforcement officials have reported that the two went through security with separate and legitimate tickets for flights to Tokyo. Yet the brothers, who have nearly identical names that are yet to be released, boarded the ANA jet together by using a duplicate boarding pass. At the time of writing, it is not known how the brother booked on a separate flight found an empty seat.

The FBI says that it isn’t in a position to press charges at the time, and there is still an ongoing investigation. The agency says that if they determine that there was intent by the misguided passenger to board the wrong flight, he could be accused of being a stowaway, which is a federal crime that is punishable by up to five years in prison. Meanwhile, ANA could face fines from U.S. Customs and Border Protection for allowing the passenger on board and failing to make an accurate headcount.

The investigation into this matter is still ongoing. Please check back when new details emerge.

Featured image by Toshi Aoki via Wikimedia Commons