Passenger Reportedly Duct-Taped After Trying To Open Exit Door On American Airlines Flight

Other travelers and flight attendants reportedly restrained the passenger with duct tape, witnesses say.

An American Airlines passenger tried to open an emergency exit door mid-air during a flight, according to multiple passengers.

The chaotic incident on Tuesday prompted other passengers and airline crew to restrain the unidentified passenger on the Chicago-bound flight, witnesses said.

Flight 1219 was forced to return to Albuquerque, New Mexico, mid-flight after takeoff “due to a disturbance in the cabin involving a disruptive customer,” an American Airlines spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.

“The flight landed safely and the aircraft was met by local law enforcement upon arrival,” the company added.

Zach Etkind, a fellow passenger on the flight, told CNN that the startling incident took place about 20 minutes after the plane took off.

“I heard people yelling in the back,” Etkind recalled. “I thought guys were fighting, but it was a man trying to open the door.”

Several passengers wrestled the man to the ground while flight attendants restrained him with duct tape and flexi cuffs, according to Etkind.

Another passenger shared a snapshot of the scuffle on X, writing, he watched “a man trying to aggressively open the airplane door 4 rows back.”

“Me and 5 other dudes had to wrestle him into the aisle, duct tape his legs, and throw flexi-cuffs on him,” the passenger added in the post.

The flight departed at 1:54 p.m. and returned to the airport at 2:45 p.m., a spokesperson for Albuquerque International Sunport told CNN.

American Airlines didn’t immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

The incident comes amid a string of incidents involving unruly airline passengers this year.

Last month, an Air Canada flight headed to Dubai from Toronto, Canada, was delayed for nearly six hours after a passenger opened the cabin door and fell 20 feet out of the airplane. The passenger was injured in the incident and taken to a local hospital for treatment. He was later apprehended by the police.

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