A Delta Air Lines passenger was detained after blowing an emergency slide on a Seattle-bound plane as the aircraft was taxiing for takeoff at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday morning.
The passenger, who was sitting at the back of the aircraft, allegedly managed to get to the front of the plane and evade flight attendants before opening one of the forward doors, which automatically activated the emergency slide.
Video footage of the incident has since been leaked by aviation insider xJonNYC on Twitter, showing the passenger rolling down the slide as it inflates and then casually walking onto the tarmac.
Delta Air flight DL1714 was scheduled to depart at around 10 am on Saturday and was sitting in a queue of planes waiting to take off when the passenger got up from his seat and marched to the front of the plane.
In the end, a replacement plane had to be found, and the flight didn’t depart Los Angeles until nearly 2 pm and arrived in Seattle over three hours late.
The passenger was reportedly not formally arrested and was instead transported to a local mental health facility for evaluation. The FBI was, however, informed of the incident.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Delta said the flight was forced to return to the gate due to an “unruly passenger”.
“The aircraft was holding to taxi for takeoff when the passenger exited the aircraft and was initially detained by Delta staff ahead of being arrested by local law enforcement,” the spokesperson added.
“Customers are being reaccommodated on a new aircraft and we apologize for the inconvenience and delay in their travel plans.”
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.
So the airplane that was in the queue of airplanes waiting to take off has vehicle sitting a very short walk from it? I have never seen that. This looks like an airplane still at the jet bridge or maybe pushed back enough so it can now go forward under it’s own power.