Two passengers onboard a Delta Air Lines plane which was waiting to depart from La Guardia airport on Monday managed to open an emergency exit and slide down the emergency chute with their service dog in tow according to law enforcement.
The incident occurred on a Delta operated Airbus A321 single-aisle jet at around 10:30 am on Monday morning. Around 100 passengers were onboard Delta flight DL462 bound for Atlanta at the time.
The passengers, who were travelling together, allegedly opened the exit after the emergency slides had been ‘armed’ and while the plane was taxiing back from the gate. The two escapees were quickly detained by Delta ground staff who were in the vicinity of the aircraft at the time and then handed over to Port Authority police officers.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Delta confirmed the incident, saying: “During flight 462’s taxi-out at LaGuardia, a party of two opened a cabin door and exited the aircraft via the slide.”
“The aircraft returned to the gate where the remaining customer deplaned normally and were accommodated on alternate flights. Maintenance technician have evaluated the aircraft and is scheduled to return to service this evening”.
The airline confirmed that there had been no onboard incident that they know of that could have prompted an emergency evacuation or caused passengers to fear for their safety.
The original flight was delayed until 7 pm and didn’t arrive into Atlanta until 9.27 pm on Monday. It’s not known whether charges will be pursued against the pair involved in the incident.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.