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Delta flight diverted after unruly passenger attempts to enter cockpit
By Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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A Delta Air Lines flight was diverted after an unruly passenger caused a disturbance by attempting to get into the cockpit.
Delta Flight 386 from Los Angeles to Nashville was diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Friday, and the passenger was removed by law enforcement, according to Delta.
The FBI said it responded to the incident and there is no threat to the public. An investigation is underway.
The flight on a Boeing 737-900 had 162 passengers and six crew members. The passengers were taken on another flight from Albuquerque to Nashville hours later, Delta said.
Passengers tweeted video of the incident on the plane.
In the video, the passenger is repeating “stop the plane” as a flight attendant and passengers hold him down and and tie his hands and feet.
There’s been an increase in unruly passenger incidents over the past year, prompting the Federal Aviation Administration to put in place a zero tolerance policy for such disturbances.
The FAA said a passenger in December tried to open the cockpit door on a Delta flight from Honolulu to Seattle, struck a flight attendant twice and threatened him. The agency proposed a $52,500 fine against the passenger.
FAA administrator Steve Dickson, a former Delta Air Lines executive,said in a statement earlier this year the policy directs “strong enforcement action against any passenger who disrupts or threatens the safety of a flight, with penalties ranging from fines to jail time.”
Federal law prohibits interfering with crews, physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault anyone on a plane.
Unruly passengers who cause flight diversions could end up facing a bill for the costs. In 2017, a federal court ordered a passenger to pay $97,817.29 in restitution for the costs of a flight diversion after he lost his temper, threatened his girlfriend and struck a flight attendant.