Video Shows Man Taken Down By Flight Attendant After Trying To Breach Cockpit Of Delta Flight

Delta flight 386 from Los Angeles to Nashville diverted to Albuquerque when a passenger started banging on the cockpit door, screaming “stop the plane!”

A crewmember, Christopher Williams, wrestled the man and zip-tied his hands. Once on the ground in New Mexico, the passenger was taken into custody by airport police and turned over to the FBI.

According to a Delta spokesperson,

Thanks to the crew and passengers of Delta Flight 386, LAX to Nashville (BNA), who assisted in detaining an unruly passenger as the flight diverted to Albuquerque (ABQ). The aircraft landed without incident and the passenger was removed by law enforcement.

While it’s not clear that the man, likely suffering from personal challenges, would have had any success without the intervention – between reinforced cockpit doors and that he was just one individual versus and entire planeload of passengers and crew – the flight attendant who reacted deserves real approbation. While not all heroes wear ‘passport purple’ in this case at least they do.

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, 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. That flight attendant is an incredible leader who clearly rose to a challenge he didn’t want to have to do.

  2. Gonna start needing less flight attendants on planes and more flight security guards.

  3. This video of a working Delta Airlines flight attendant on flight 386 successfully protecting the flight deck and restraining a passenger should be used for training future flight attendants over the next 20 years. So keep climbing Delta, except when you need to divert to Albuquerque to drop off an unruly passenger.

  4. @Gary I know many pax questioned the need for Air Marshals years ago; but we sure could use them in 2021. Has that program stopped completely??

  5. I don’t mean to take anything away from the FA or passengers who subdued this nut, but let’s not join the narrative that the flight was ever in any danger as he never would have beached the cockpit door. It’s not terrorism so much as an act of mental illness that has become absolutely commonplace in post-Covid America.

  6. It just occurred to me that planes now carry restraints as standard equipment? Because that guy isn’t in your average zip-tie.

  7. His father should’ve pulled instead of pushed.
    People do all sorts of stupid things so it’s documented for SSI benefits.

  8. If we keep using euphemisms like “personal challenges”, we’re never going to come to grip with root problems in America. I’d say “Call a spade a spade”, but that would put me into woke jail forever.

  9. Would love it if there were fewer of these kinds of tabloidy posts. There have always been incidents like this and always will be, we just have stories about them now because of the ubiquity of cameras. But it doesn’t helps anyone miles/points-wise.

  10. @Tim. FA’s are very lazy and this act doesn’t change my opinion in any way. If anything this guy was fighting for his own life.

  11. They really should do something about the cockpit doors….like make them bulletproof and install safety bars inside so that they’re impossible to open…..or something. Okay, I’ll give them the 15 minutes but let’s not kid ourselves. The cockpit was never in any any danger of being breached. This stuff now only leads to a “no standing within an hour of takeoff or landing”, no alcohol and other bullshit rules that have absolutely ZERO affect on flight safety. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve seen people pull on the cockpit door thinking it was the lav. Some people are just stupid…..that also did not pose any danger to the cockpit.

  12. @CHRIS

    The counter to making the cockpit an unenterable fortress is the Germanwings tragedy. Make it so one crazy pilot can crash the plane and no one can get to him, and it will/did happen. Introduce rules so two pilots always need to be in the cockpit and eventually one will kill the other behind locked doors before crashing the plane, as is one possible scenario in MH370. Make it possible for the ground to overtake the controls remotely and someone will hack it.

    There is no foolproof scenario, although it seems apparent by now that any repeat of a 9/11 style attack is gone – that lasted 3.5 flights. The current cockpit doors slow any potential attacker(s) long enough that the rest of the crew/passengers have time to get up and beat them to a pulp.

  13. Well maybe he got what he wanted? They stopped the plane to drop him off in Albuquerque.
    It’s very unlikely that he could have gotten in to the cockpit. Hopefully he does get the help that he needs.

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