Monday, August 27, 2007

Passenger tries to open door during Frontier Airlines flight

Several days ago, a passenger attempted to open a door on a Frontier Airlines Airbus during flight, and had to be restrained by flight attendants, with assistance from other passengers. The incident happened on Frontier Flight 514, en route from Denver to New York-La Guardia (LGA), early on the morning of August 25, 2007.

The man was unsuccessful in his attempt, and the plane landed safely with no reported injuries to the five crew members or 127 other passengers. On arrival at LGA, the disruptive passenger was taken into custody by Port Authority police.

According to news reports, the incident happened less than an hour before the aircraft was scheduled to land at LGA. A passenger who had been sitting near the unruly man said that the man had been acting strangely throughout the flight, bouncing up and down in his seat and kicking the seat in front of him. He struggled to escape after he was restrained with duct tape and a seatbelt extension.

[Passenger Bobby] Vigil said his rowmate left his seat to go to the bathroom in the front of the plane and briefly tried to open the cockpit door. The man, whom he described as Asian and about 20, then returned to his seat, only to get up 15 seconds later, go to the back of the plane and attempt to open the cabin door.

"I heard the flight attendant say, 'Help me!'" Vigil said. A struggle broke out, and Vigil and two other male passengers rushed over to help the attendant restrain the passenger.

"We taped him up in an 'X' pattern," said Vigil. "He wouldn't stay still or cooperate."

The man, whose name was not released, attempted to bite the tape off his hands and feet. Extension belts were used to keep him in place as the plane prepared to land, Vigil said.
A story about the incident in the New York Post described the man as 35 years old, and mentioned that he had been taken to Elmhurst General Hospital in Queens for evaluation.