While 2022 is promising to be a calmer year in the skies some airline passengers are still exploding into odd fits of rage. This latest instance coming out of a Frontier flight is surprising for its Michael Bay-levels of absurdity. A man started an incident requiring some six passengers to restrain him after trying to break a window and accusing someone of stealing his DNA.
Yesterday, Frontier Airlines Flight 1335 departed New York’s LaGuardia Airport bound for Orlando International Airport. But the flight had to divert to Raleigh-Durham International Airport at around 8:15 p.m. because of an unruly passenger, reports WRAL.
The incident started with what sounds like a passenger poking the man ahead of them in the back. The man responded like you’d expect, by allegedly accusing the person of trying to steal his DNA. You can sort of hear them talking about it in the video.
WRAL spoke to a passenger that witnessed it go down:
“[The man] was really loud and obnoxious from the beginning. The passenger that was sitting behind him was a lady and her autistic son ... so I guess he kept getting poked and touched from behind and he started freaking out and claiming that, these people keep putting hands on me, they’re trying to stick me with needles, they’re trying to collect my DNA. I don’t know what they want to do with it — maybe for money or maybe to sell it. He’s like, I don’t care if it’s a lady and her kid, I’ll smack them both. I don’t care who it is. I’ll put my hands on anybody on this plane ,” said Savannah Figueroa, who was on the flight.
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Witnesses say that the passenger’s anger came and went. Things escalated when as Figueroa says, the passenger threatened to kill passengers and tried to break a window.
This prompted flight attendants to block the aisle while a group of passengers worked to restrain him with belts, from WRAL:
“That’s when they jumped on him and tried to restrain him,” Figueroa said. “There was at least five or six other men that stood up ... they started taking their belts off and trying to restrain him.”
The passenger was removed from the aircraft after it landed at Raleigh-Durham International. As of now an investigation is underway and the passenger has not been charged.
It’s good to note that despite these highlighted cases you’re unlikely to come in contact with an unruly passenger. The FAA says that the rate of unruly passengers is 6.2 incidents per 10,000 flights. There are more than four times that many flights every day. And it’s far below 2021's peak, when the rate was more than double.
Still, if you’re thinking about starting chaos in a metal tube you should think twice and just not do it. As for Flight 1335, tracking history shows that it arrived at its destination in Orlando just about two hours late.