In Case You Missed It: Watch This Guy Have An Epic Meltdown In American Airlines Cockpit

Air Rage
18 January 2022

A deranged man on an American Airlines flight from Honduras to Miami stormed the cockpit and started shouting from the co-pilot’s window. The bizarre incident was recorded on a cellphone video and promptly posted on Twitter by user Ariel Sierra. Photos posted to that account also show what appeared to be a damaged instrument panel.

The event happened while gate agents were servicing the aircraft and before passengers had boarded the flight. No injuries were reported. 

According to a company spokesperson, ramp agents with the airline rushed into the aircraft and restrained the passenger before handing him over to law enforcement. “Crew members intervened and the individual was ultimately apprehended by local law enforcement,” the statement read. The tirade ended up causing an 8-hour delay for Miami-bound passengers who had to wait for a replacement aircraft to become available. 

The incident follows a year that saw unprecedented numbers of so-called “air rage” incidents exploding across the nation, mostly related to Federal masking requirements. From ticket counters to midflight tantrums, the level of violence directed at airline workers is staggering. In 2021, airlines reported more than 5,300 cases involving abuse or outright violent attacks from passengers. For comparison, the FAA typically will receive fewer than 200 reports of passenger abuse per year. Meaning, the number of cases logged in 2021 was the equivalent of more than 35 years worth of attacks. This, despite the fact that air travel remains slower than usual due to the lingering pandemic, fewer than 80% of passengers are passing through TSA checkpoints compared to pre-pandemic levels. 

In response, outraged passengers unable to control themselves paid out more than a million dollars in fines. In August, the FAA proposed another $531,545 in civil penalties against just 34 airline passengers responsible for some of the more severe outbursts. 

Unions have been calling on lawmakers to act on the epidemic of air rage incidents, proposing things like stiffer fines and penalties and curbs on alcohol sales. To prevent abusive passengers from simply buying a ticket on another airline after being kicked off a flight, some airlines are considering sharing their “banned passenger” lists.

Dave Roderick, a District Legislative Director for the Machinists and Aerospace union, says that his office is in close communication with legislators and is pushing for a nationwide solution. “We talk to any lawmaker that wants to hear from us,” he said. “Air rage is a huge issue for our members, who are increasingly entering into a hostile work environment at airports – a place that should be one of the safest work areas imaginable,” he said. 

“What does it say when we can’t adequately protect passengers and employees at airports and aboard airplanes, places that are under 24/hour guard and surveillance?” 

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