Boarding on This American Flight Got a Little Weird

Man storms cockpit, seems to try to climb out window on flight from Honduras bound for Miami
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2022 7:31 AM CST
Boarding on This American Flight Got a Little Weird
American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure on July 21, 2021, at Boston Logan International Airport, in Boston.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(Newser) – An American Airlines flight from Honduras to Miami got a very late start on Tuesday, but it wasn't due to inclement weather, mechanical issues, or tardy crew members. Instead, per the New York Times, a "more novel reason" was behind the delay: an unruly passenger who broke into the plane's cockpit and seemed to try to climb out the aircraft's window. The incident took place at Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula, where Flight 488 was prepping for its journey to Florida, set for a departure shortly before 3pm.

During the boarding process, however, things went awry, as a male passenger suddenly stormed the still-open cockpit and "caused damage to the aircraft," the airline said in a statement. It's not clear what exactly happened after the passenger found his way into the pilots' quarters, but a video posted online shows someone leaning out the cockpit window, as confused airport workers scramble on the tarmac below. "A pilot in the cockpit tried to stop him and then the man tried to jump out the open cockpit window," ABC News reports.

Crew members were eventually able to intervene, and the man was "ultimately apprehended by local law enforcement," an airline spokeswoman notes, per the Washington Post. Passengers had to wait for a new plane to take them to Miami, and the flight didn't end up taking off til 10:45pm—a more than seven-hour delay. "We applaud our outstanding crew members for their professionalism in handling a difficult situation," the American Airlines statement notes. There's been no word on the man's motive. (Read more American Airlines stories.)

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