Before taking off at midnight, an American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte, NC had already been delayed for several hours after a woman’s crazed antics disrupted the flight. Although the passengers survived the terrifying ordeal, however, this was only the beginning of their troubles because unfortunately there’s more.
Passengers sabotaging the flight are the least of their concerns, given everything that can go wrong with a 50-ton titanium airbus hurtling through the sky several miles above the ground. Unfortunately, flight security is limited in its ability to deal with disruptive and hostile passengers, especially at altitudes of more than 30,000 feet.
Now, in a video that was filmed by the TikTok user @lol.ariee, an unidentified woman can be seen with duct tape around her chest and mouth as she attempts to scream at passengers.
One hour into the two-hour trip, according to @lol.ariee, the chaos began when “all flight attendants were running up and down the aisles, frantically kind of like whispering to each other.” The personnel started closing the restrooms and taking bags out of the overhead bins, but wouldn’t say what exactly was happening. “It was just kind of like chaos and no one knows what’s going on,” the TikTok user said.
Eventually, the pilot announced over the intercom that everyone should remain seated because of “a bad situation in the plane” but he made no further mention of it. “Then we’re gradually starting to hear more and more screaming, and we’re like, ‘Wait a minute,’” she noted.
However, a flight attendant who sat near the passengers said that a woman with an apparent mental issue “had an outburst” and became determined to get off the plane. “She was saying, ‘I need to get off this plane,’ and she went up to the exits and started banging on the doors, saying, ‘You need to let me off this plane!'” @lol.ariee said.
The woman apparently started biting, spitting, and attacking flight attendants. She also allegedly “went up to the exits and started banging on the doors, saying ‘You need to let me off this plane! ‘” American Airlines confirmed that the woman “attempted to open the forward boarding door,” prompting the crew to “take her down” and duct-tape her mouth. The woman was restrained “for the safety and security” of those on board.
“They pretty much took her down, put her in the seat and duct taped her, I guess it took all five flight attendants to subdue her and like literally take her down so.”
The video, which has been viewed more than 4 million times, shows a police officer and medical personnel waiting by the plane’s entrance as other passengers depart the cabin upon landing.
Scientists say this is physically impossible due to automatic locks and the extremely high air pressure outside the plane, although there was concern that the woman could have been able to open an emergency exit door mid-flight.
“You see that great big handle on the door – that’s actually locked shut. When the plane touches down and is taxing to the gate, you’ll hear the pilot say “doors to manual.” It’s only at that point where the pilot has handed off control, and where those doors are actually capable of being opened by someone standing near them,” says Steve Wright, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at the University of the West of England.
As an investigation was conducted, the woman was placed on American Airlines’ “internal” no-fly list, after she was immediately taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
Although duct tape isn’t the ideal de-escalation technique, it was successful in this instance and whether she had a mental illness or not, the woman needed to be held to prevent her from endangering herself and the people around her.
Watch the video below for more details: