A passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight from LA to Nashville reportedly tried to breach the cockpit Friday, forcing the plane to divert to New Mexico, airport officials in Albuquerque said.
Albuquerque International Sunport had received reports from an air traffic control tower that a passenger on the plane had attempted to breach the cabin, according to airport spokeswoman Stephanie Kitts. She said the unidentified passenger was detained by police at the airport once it landed, and the investigation is being turned over the the FBI.
The Albuquerque FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment but confirmed in a Twitter post it was responding to diverted flight that landed at the airport.
One passenger on the flight posted videos of the incident on Twitter and said the flight had to make an emergency landing because a passenger “tried to hijack” the plane. The videos show a male Delta flight attendant appearing to detain the passenger in the back of the plane and also shows a passenger with his wrists ziptied tied behind his back.
A Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Nashville diverted to Albuquerque Friday after crew members had to detain an unruly passenger. The passenger was met by airport police and the FBI is investigating. The plane was a Boeing 737-900, part of the Boeing 737 family pictured here. (Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, special for USA TODAY)
In a statement, Delta did not provide details of the inflight incident or confirm the passenger tried to breach the cockpit.
Delta spokesman Anthony Black said Flight 386 landed without incident in Albuquerque and he praised the crew and passengers on the flight for “detaining an unruly passenger” on the flight. The Boeing 737-900 was carrying 162 passengers and six crew members.
The plane landed at the airport at 2:18 p.m. and is scheduled to depart for Nashville this evening, arriving about five hours behind schedule.
The incident comes as airlines are seeing a spike in passengers behaving badly, forcing a crackdown by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Last week, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant landed in the hospital after a passenger punched her in the face. Southwest’s flight attendants union said she lost two teeth in the incident.
In the wake of the high-profile incident and calls by flight attendant unions to limit alcohol sales on board as travel rebounds, Southwest and American delayed plans to start selling drinks after a long pandemic pause. American won’t bring booze back until Sept. 13, the date the federal mask mandate on planes and at airports ends.
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