A UK-bound flight was forced to make a dramatic U-turn just over an hour into its trip after a "disruptive" passenger refused to wear a face mask.

The American Airlines flight from Miami, Florida to London was about 34,000 feet over the Atlantic on Wednesday evening when the incident occurred.

The passenger, who the New York Times describes as a woman in her 40s, was escorted off the plane and dealt with “administratively” by the airline’s staff who were waiting with police at the gate.

Laura Masvidal, a spokeswoman with American Airlines, stated Thursday the passenger was added to the airline's internal refuse list pending further investigation.

Police said they did not arrest her, and no one was injured.

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Local TV station WFOR-TV claims that the more than 100 passengers on the plane were not notified about why it had to turn back to Miami.

A passenger told them: "We weren't given any instructions, just told that we had to go back and now we can't get our luggage.”

Another passenger said: "Disappointed. They wouldn't really say anything and I don't think they told the flight attendants anything because all they would say is there was an extreme incident and they had to turn around."

American Airlines said in a statement: "American Airlines flight 38 with service from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR) returned to MIA due to a disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement.

“The flight landed safely at MIA where local law enforcement met the aircraft.

“We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”