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Alaska Airlines Flight Diverts to New Orleans After Passenger “Rushed the Cockpit” Three Times

Alaska Airlines Flight Diverts to New Orleans After Passenger “Rushed the Cockpit” Three Times

a white airplane on a runway

An Alaska Airlines flight from Orlando to San Diego was apparently forced to make an unscheduled emergency diversion to New Orleans after one of the passengers allegedly “rushed the cockpit” three times and had to be chased away by one of the flight attendants.

Alaska flight AS379 departed Orlando at around 9 pm on Thursday for what should have been a routine five-hour cross-country flight to California, but the pilots of the Boeing 737MAX ended up diverting to Louisana just over an hour into the flight.

On the popular Flyer Talk, one passenger on the plane describes why the flight was forced to divert, saying that at one point one of the other people on the flight even started to knock on the cockpit door.

“I was flying the MCO-SAN non stop last night but it turned out we had a really long stop,” the passenger wrote. “A young man sitting in back, most-likely on drugs to celebrate 4/20, rushed the cockpit door THREE times in the first hour of our flight.”

“First he went to the front not long after the plane took off and the FAs (flight attendants) turned him around and sent him to the rear. At that point he was doing a lot of strange things in the back like crouching and spreading his arms like a bird. Later, one pilot was using the restroom and he went bolting to the front,” he continued.

“The male FA chased after him and turned him around again and he returned to his seat. Third time being the charm, he briskly walked to the front and started knocking on the cockpit door.”

At this point, the flight attendants requested volunteers – preferably off-duty law enforcement or military – to help guard the unruly passenger. Two “big guys” sat with him for the remainder of the flight while the pilots diverted to New Orleans.

One on the ground, the passenger apparently just walked off the airplane talking on his phone, while the other passengers were subjected to a long delay while the aircraft was refuelled and paperwork completed.

In the end, the flight arrived in San Diego nearly two hours late.

No charges appear to have yet been filed. Alaska Airlines has been contacted for comment but a spokesperson did not immediately respond.

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