American Airlines Flight Diverted After Passenger Allegedly Made “Alarming Statements,” Refused To Sit

Every day, millions of people manage to board airplanes, sit quietly for the duration of the flight and make it to their destination with relative ease. We don’t usually hear about those folks, however. Instead, unruly, disruptive passengers — whether they act that way on purpose or not — are the ones who keep making it into our news cycle. To wit: an American Airlines flight had to be diverted recently when a passenger allegedly made “alarming statements” and refused to take his seat.

The flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia yesterday made an unexpected landing in Phoenix, where the passenger in question was escorted off the plane, reports KPNX News 12.

Phoenix police told ABC 15 that the passenger made “alarming statements” and refused to take his seat shortly after takeoff. The passenger started swearing and saying the government was after him, witnesses said, ranting about 9/11, and promising he’d be famous that very day.

“I thought, ‘This is weird,’ ” a fellow traveler told KPNX. “I looked at him and he looked angry and he wasn’t wearing any shoes or socks.”

After standing in the aisle, he eventually went back to his seat in coach, where he reportedly sat, muttering to himself. The flight crew approached him, causing him to jump up again and address the cabin. He was “seizing with anger” and making “threatening gestures,” the witness said.

Other passengers jumped in to assist the flight crew, corralling him back to his seat, making him sit and putting his seatbelt on. Flight attendants were ready with handcuffs, while one of the witnesses said he was told to duct tape his hands and feet together if he tried to get out of his seat again.

The flight landed safely in Phoenix, where police escorted him off the plane and took him to an urgent psychological care center for evaluation. He may face charges for interfering with the flight crew, police said.

“American Airlines Flight 754 from Los Angeles (LAX) to Philadelphia (PHL), diverted to Phoenix (PHX) due to a disruptive passenger,” American Airlines said in a statement. “The passenger was removed, and the flight re-departed for Philadelphia. For more information, please contact local law enforcement.”

In case you need a refresher, here are a few of the recent unruly passenger stories that have bedeviled American Airlines specifically in the recent past (not to mention numerous incidents on other airlines):

Can’t We Just Get Along? Yet Another Flight Diverted Because Passengers Argue Over Reclining Seat

American Airlines Flight Diverted After Unruly Passenger Allegedly Kissed, Then Punched Attendant

American Airlines Flight Diverted Because Of Yet Another Unruly Passenger

Woman Booted From Flight Because No One Asked For Her Best Whitney Houston Impression

Plane diverted to Phoenix for unruly, 9/11 ranting passenger [KPNX]

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