A passenger has recalled the terrifying moment he learned a fellow flyer tried to open the door of the plane he was on part-way through their four-hour journey.
The Delta Airlines plane was travelling from Los Angeles, California, to Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday when at about 10pm a dispute unfolded between a male passenger and two flight attendants, police said.
Benjamin Curlee recalled in a viral TikTok video how a man – a Delta flight attendant not working that particular flight – made a bizarre announcement using the plane’s PA system.
“Apparently someone who was a flight attendant, not a flight attendant active on this flight, but another flight attendant, made an announcement and said, ‘everybody take your seat and get ready to put on oxygen masks’ then attempted to open the door of the plane,” Mr Curlee said.
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While he was too far from the front to see the man try and open the door, he heard a second announcement from the pilot a few minutes later.
“Two minutes after the first announcement, the pilot made an announcement and said ‘all able-bodied men please come forward there’s an emergency at the front’,” he recalled.
“I got about half way up before we got told to go back to our seats [because] the situation was under control.”
The flight was diverted to land at the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City where the unruly passenger was detained by law enforcement officials and taken to hospital, News9 reported.
Mr Curlee filmed the video, which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times, while waiting for information on when he would be able to resume his journey to Atlanta.
Disturbing Twitter footage titled, “Someone tried hijacking our plane from LAX to ATL”, showed a bungle between a passenger and staff near the plane’s exit.
The airline issued an apology to those inconvenienced by the interruption caused by the traveller, who it has yet to confirm was a Delta employee.
“Thanks to the crew and passengers of Delta Flight 1730 (LAX to ATL) who assisted in detaining an unruly passenger as the flight diverted to Oklahoma City (OKC). The aircraft landed without incident and the passenger was removed by law enforcement,” a spokesperson for the airline told the publication.
“We apologise to our customers for the delay and any additional inconvenience this caused.”
Police said the suspect was an off-duty Delta employee, who was taken to hospital after complaining of chest pain, Koco News 5 reported.
The case has reportedly been handed over to the FBI.