Officials said there was a dispute between a 66-year-old male passenger and the flight crew over the charge for a blanket.
Witnesses said he took offence at the price and said he should be allowed to have it for free as it was cold, the NY Daily News reported.
Hawaiian Airlines flight 7 from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Honolulu, Hawaii, had to make a diverted landing at LAX Airport in Los Angeles, California, due to these threats being made by the passenger.
'You know, if I was a passenger on board that plane I would have paid the $12 for him, ' a laughing Pedregon said. However, a flight attendant said it was the pilot that the passenger made threatening remarks about.
Then, during an in-flight call with an airline representative, the man said he "would like to take someone behind the woodshed for this", Pedregon said.
Airport officers met the aircraft at the gate and conducted an investigation with the FBI.
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His name was not released.
But one passenger, who was sat across the aisle from the man, was told by staff the man had threatened the pilot.
"Diverting a flight is clearly not our first choice, but our crew felt it was necessary in this case to divert to Los Angeles and deplane the passenger before beginning to fly over the Pacific Ocean", Hawaiian Airlines spokeswoman Alison Croyle told CNN affiliate KCAL.
But not all passengers agreed with the airline's decision.
"I thought it was ridiculous", traveler Eileen Berstrom said.
Footage of the incident showed the man, wearing a hoodie and a baseball cap as he was escorted from the plane by two officers.