A woman who tried to get a seat upgrade was not expecting to be arrested for feigning illness on a plane.

An American Eagle flight heading to Miami from Pensacola was forced to make a sudden return just one hour after takeoff because the passenger claimed she was in need of medical assistance.

According to police, the woman asked for a seat upgrade, and shortly after her request was rejected by cabin crew, she became ill and short of breath.

Pensacola Police Department said the pilot of the aircraft had to make a detour and reroute the plane back to Pensacola so the woman could be taken off the plane. However, police were called when she decided not to get off the aircraft, which ended up being grounded for more than one hour.

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"Once they got on the ground, she made it clear that she was faking the medical condition to get a bigger seat," Mike Wood, Pensacola Police Department public information officer, told NBC Miami.

"All passengers deplaned normally at the gate through the main boarding door and onto the jet bridge," a spokesperson for American Airlines, the airline's parent company, said in a statement.

"The passenger was subsequently removed by law enforcement and medical personnel, and the flight took off again at 7.41am."

It is understood the woman, who has not been named, was transported to a mental health facility and has not yet been charged.