Plane Diverted as Passenger Disrupts Delta Flight

A scary incident aboard a Delta flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta on Sunday night resulted in the plane turning around and heading back to McCarran International.

Passenger Tried to Open Door in Flight

An Atlanta TV station spoke to a passenger on the flight who said a man sitting by a window in an exit row had somehow undone the flap that accesses the handle of the emergency exit row door, and was actually reaching for the emergency door handle as passengers were jumping up to get a flight attendant’s attention.

At that point, according to passenger Ray Wronker, a bunch of people on the plane wrestled the guy to the ground. “It was a pretty intense eight to 10 minutes on the plane,” said Wronker.

However, it is not possible to open an airplane door in mid-flight. It is, however, possible to attempt such a stunt and get yourself arrested, and the unruly passenger was taken into custody by the Las Vegas police. The flight then continued on without further incident.

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How to Prevent Unruly Passenger Incidents

Interestingly, Virgin America CEO David Cush says one of the reasons his airline does not have more unruly passengers is the free seatback screens on every plane. As he explained it to FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney, “People sit down, stare at that video. They don’t bother anyone around them.”

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Published: October 24, 2011