First Class Passenger Duct Taped And Gagged After Trying To Flee Aircraft Midflight

A first class passenger on American Airlines flight 1774 from Dallas to Charlotte on Tuesday was duct taped into her seat after reportedly attacking flight attendants and trying to open an aircraft door during the flight.

According to another passenger on board, about halfway through the flight commotion began and cabin crew locked bathrooms and took bags out of overhead bins. A pilot announced that everyone would have to remain in their seats because of “a bad situation” on the aircraft. A flight attendant explained that the woman tried to get off the aircraft, saying “I need to get off this plane” and banged on the doors.

The flight attendant relayed to passengers that the woman hit, spit on and bit crew. They duct taped her mouth and tied her into her seat.

@lol.ariee

so this happened on my american airline flight ##waittilltheend ##DFW ##americanairlines ##lawsuit ##fypシ

♬ original sound – arieana mathena

According to American Airlines,

While in flight from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Charlotte (CLT) on July 6, the crew on board American Airlines flight 1774 reported a potential security concern after a customer attempted to open the forward boarding door and physically assaulted, bit and caused injury to a flight attendant.

For the safety and security of other customers and our crew, the individual was restrained until the flight landed at CLT and could be met by law enforcement and emergency personnel.

Apparently the reduced legroom and padding of American’s new domestic ‘Oasis’ first class seats wasn’t the trigger for the meltdown.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Thought they had plastic handcuffs for such situations. And zip ties perhaps.

  2. @drrichard No matter what they carry as restraints I think when such behaviour kicks off I think crew are entitled to use any method of restraint as am sure multiple people witnessed this. Crew are there primarily for everyone’s safety and this person clearly was compromising the safety and integrity of the cabin. Americans feel so entitled to behave however they want. having come through Covid-19 it’s fairly obvious now that the greater good supersedes the rights of the individual !

  3. As an AAdvantage elite amenity, will flight attendant restrained American Airlines first-class passengers get a complimentary upgrade for their passenger seat body restraint from ordinary duct tape to the more robust and expensive FAA-approved speed tape?

  4. Since she was trying desperately to get off the plane, it’s possible that the woman was having a full-blown panic attack — a very real mental health issue.

  5. I don’t think things like this should be taken lightly or made fun of. @tommyleo is correct, could have been a mental health issue but if you or your loved ones know if this issue then you look into other options of travel or have someone travel with you. Passengers have gotten out of control and until they are held publicly accountable and we get back to adults acting like adults the industry will continue to have these problems. Flight crews are humans and don’t deserve to encounter these issues that are taken lightly while performing their duties. For the constant complaining about AA’s seats or Spirits customer service, we all have options for other companies or means of transportation. Choose one, travel happy and stop it with the unnecessary complaints. It really seems the world is quickly turning into a bunch of spoiled children.

  6. It’s only a matter of time before one of these passengers gets killed. As we know from a certain high profile situation, a combination of health issues, stress, and restraint can easily lead to death. Duct tape over the mouth combined with inflexible duct tape around the chest could easily produce a similar effect to someone’s knee on the back/neck. Obviously in the moment passengers and FAs (who aren’t trained in any meaningful way to deal with these out of control passengers) have to deal with the situation however they can, but the ingredients are definitely there for one of these encounters to turn fatal.

  7. I really hope that woman wasn’t a flight attendant (a few weeks ago a Delta flight attendant was flying in first class as a passenger and did something similar.) If it is a mental health issue, I hope she gets the helps she needs.

  8. C’mon people get real. It is impossible to open a cabin door while inflight. Absolutely impossible in a pressurised cabin.

    The way to deal with a passenger who wants to try is to simply let them. No drama, no screaming, just ignore them. There is no danger.

    But the media lives click-bait stories.

  9. @ Doug is spot on. The woman should consult an attorney and sue the living shit out of AA as well as the FAs in their personal capacity. Those negligent FAs may be criminally negligent and belong in prison for endangering human life.

  10. For medical, safety and privacy concerns, why didn’t they deplane this passenger first? I think that lack of care will factor in to the lawsuit to follow. She surely has the wherewithal (takes a little knowledge, connections to an attorney and money) to file given her ability to fly first in the first place.

  11. Can we get into having some serious trains already? Why we gotta be locked in with nutbags… From what I read, assaults and crazy behavior is accelerating. Top this with in-plane delays on the tarmac for weather et al with no recourse for passengers? After being assaulted by the TSA? No thanks.

    To the person that spouted some nonsense about ooo wait till someone does from being restrained…. Get over your wokeness. It’s a safety issue. You want a riot in an aircraft over a passenger having a psychotic episode? Do you think the plan will fly if all passengers run to the back of the plane? (Hint, it won’t…)

  12. @P Ness, what a short sighted comment. So what about everyone else on the plane? This is the mentality of America these days.

  13. Should have landed at the nearest airport and let her. The playbook in handling these type of incidents need to be rewritten.

  14. «  Apparently the reduced legroom and padding of American’s new domestic ‘Oasis’ first class seats wasn’t the trigger for the meltdown. » Writer Gary Left, I will give you a Pulitzer; this is dynamite writing!

  15. Given that she was not injured by the duct tape (we’d have heard if she was) and that restraining her was in response to her violent behavior, the idea of successful litigation seems a fantasy.

    Why land and inconvenience everyone on the plane when the situation seemed under control?

  16. Was is Duck brand duct tape?
    That allows a duck bill to be created for breathing, I believe.

    @Ken: This is the only amenity offered for those requalifying by credit card spend

  17. “Duct tape on the mouth is crazy risky” Eventually they are going to do this to the wrong person and the person will have a medical episode and die. I wouldn’t be surprised if in such a situation there were potential murder charges brought against the crew and massive civil liability for the airline. There is ZERO reason to be duct taping somebody’s mouth shut. ZERO. These are foreseeable situations and the airlines should have the appropriate equipment on board and training to safely restrain a passenger

  18. Are there any documented cases of someone dying from having their mouth, but not their nose, duct taped under circumstances at all resembling this case?

    I couldn’t find any after searching. The closest were some questions about what would happen if you duct taped someone’s mouth and they had a stuffy nose. Every answer I saw was they’d survive, perhaps with a panic attack or major discomfort.

  19. As a frequent flier. Any person goes for the door, starts attacking individuals are just plane insane, i will always step in. Many of these fliers are 1st timers and have no understanding of etiquette and other people’s space.

  20. Nobody should die but then again nobody should be able to bite airline employees and try to open an aircraft door even if it won’t open. How about address the root cause, this person wasn’t sane or normal and if she caused harm to herself by her actions then so be it. If she has family then if they cared anything about their family member who has mental issues then they should have accompanied her on the trip. Lets start looking at personal responsibility and not how someone should have catered to this individual with personal/mental/health issues.

  21. The safety of the entire crew and passengers is the number one priority of flight attendants and pilots! not one person being restrained due to her outrageous aggression: she was biting, kicking, spitting and pulling hair – let that sink in for a moment. Seriously, they’re going to let her continue to fight and scream for the rest of the flight while in mid-air??
    Commenters, ridiculous, defending yet another Karen. She was absolutely out of control and defenders claiming she was having a panic attack. And that AA should be sued. Absurd. She wouldn’t be flying in the first place if she had panic attacks while flying! The Karen Advocates would be flipping out – especially on social media – if that were them on that flight being tormented by her screams and aggression.

  22. Does anyone know why she was so hell bent on getting off that plane? There’s sick shit that goes on and human trafficking is a real thing. American Airlines may or may not be involved with trafficking. That woman may or may not even have family to help her. Where is she now? What happened to her? Could just about lay money she’s never heard from again and maybe that’s why she needed to get off that plane by any means. It’s easy to say mental health issues because her actions weren’t understood to be sane. I find it insane to label so easily and pass judgment when we don’t have the full account of her life situation. SMH

  23. If you are mentally ill or on verge of being a psycho, stay off the planes. The rest of us have no sympathy for your ills and have no interest in being a part of your disruptive, chaotic drama series. If the nut case had been on my flight, I’d put a plastic sack over her head and shut her up. If you can’t behave, or are mentally unstable, or prone to potentially riotous, deadly outbursts then stay home. Or take a bus. Or be willing to suffer the consequences when someone shuts you up.

  24. @Fred J. Bloggs:

    Yes, we know the door can’t be opened in flight. But seriously, you need to rethink this idea of yours:
    <>. The problem with that is they will eventually figure out that the door won’t open, resulting in an even more panicky person still not in any type of control or custody, and with a cabin crew having no clues as to where the person is headed next. No, Fred J, the sooner that people displaying irrational and combative behavior mid-flight are controlled and secured, the better.

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