A Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta was diverted to Oklahoma City Friday night due to an unruly passenger who was subdued following an urgent request from the plane’s crew for help.
Video shows passengers piling on top of and apparently holding down the passenger, who attempted to open a plane door, according to other passengers. Plane doors are impossible to open at cruising altitude due to cabin pressure.
Members of the flight crew can be seen trying to subdue the passenger on the plane bound for Atlanta. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Friday June 11, 2021.
The plane’s captain can be heard requesting help.
“This is the captain speaking. We’d like all strong males to to come to the front of the aircraft to handle a problem passenger.”
The video does not show what happened prior to the passenger being restrained. Passenger Brannon Nazarian described the mid-air chaos.
“The next thing I knew, there were people rushing up the to the front, and he started shoving people, and there was this outrageous fight,” Nazarian said during the unscheduled stop in Oklahoma City. “He was fighting them back extremely hard. His feet were flying in the air. The flight attendant was — it looked like he had a concussion.”
The flight was met by law enforcement officers in Oklahoma City, according to Delta. It was not immediately clear when the passenger was arrested.
Earlier in June, a man accused of trying to break into the cockpit of a Delta flight from Los Angeles to Nashville, causing its diversion last Friday to Albuquerque, New Mexico, was ordered to remain in custody pending further hearings. A criminal complaint submitted by an FBI agent said the passenger during the flight pounded on the cockpit door and said “we need to land this plane” before he was restrained by a flight attendant and passengers and then carried to the rear of the plane.
An unruly airplane passenger may be fined around $52,000 for not following the rules. Lolita Lopez reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 17, 2021.
The Federal Aviation Administration has warned air travelers about what it describes as a dramatic increase in unruly or dangerous behavior aboard passenger airplanes.
In a typical year, the transportation agency sees 100 to 150 formal cases of bad passenger behavior. But since the start of this year through early May, the agency said the number of cases has jumped to 1,300, an even more remarkable number since the number of passengers remained below pre-pandemic levels.