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United Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Diversion After Woman Bites Flight Attendant, Rips Uniform and Spits at Passenger

United Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Diversion After Woman Bites Flight Attendant, Rips Uniform and Spits at Passenger

a plane with people in the air

A United Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency diversion to Orlando on Tuesday afternoon after a female passenger had to be restrained when she became aggressive and went on the rampage, threatening other passengers, spitting at a seatmate and biting a flight attendant.

A video captured by another passenger on United flight UA762 from Miami to Newark shows flight attendants struggling to restrain the woman in flexicuffs as she bit one crew member and ripped a chunk out of their uniform.

It remains unclear why the woman went into a wild meltdown but flight attendants had to intervene shortly after departure from Miami when she started to scream, shout and threaten other passengers on the Boeing 737MAX.

United Airlines says its crew members initially attempted to deescalate the situation when their efforts to calm the woman failed, they turned to flexicuffs to restrain the woman while the pilots quickly started to divert to Orlando.

During the restraint, the woman continued to go on the attack, biting a flight attendant’s shoulder and ripping a chunk of uniform off his shoulder.

Other passengers came to assist the flight attendants but the woman continued to make threats and shout at other passengers until the plane safely landed in Orlando and she was led away by local law enforcement.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the rest of the passengers were then stranded in Orlando for the next three and a half hours as the crew had to be swapped out for a new set of flight attendants.

In a statement, a spokesperson for United Airlines explained: “United flight 762 from Miami to Newark stopped in Orlando on Tuesday evening after a passenger became aggressive and disruptive.”

“Our flight attendants worked to de-escalate the situation and protect other customers and after landing in Orlando, law enforcement met the flight, and the passenger was removed.”

The statement continued: “We’re grateful to our team for their professionalism and for looking out for the safety of our customers and their fellow United employees.”

Back in 2021, United Airlines warned its flight attendants not to use duct tape to subdue unruly passengers following a spate of violent inflight incidents that had seen crew members at other airlines turn to the sticky tape to restrain disruptive customers.

Duct tape doesn’t form a part of unruly passenger training and airlines don’t provide the tape but some flight attendants bring their own duct tape for temporary fixes for anything broken onboard.

During a wave of unruly passengers incidents in 2020 and 2021, duct tape became a popular method of restraining unruly passengers despite the fact that many airlines have their own restraint kits including flexicuffs.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has not set any industry standard restraint kit and it is left up to individual airlines to decide what equipment to make available to flight attendants. In South Korea, that even includes Tasers.

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