Delta passenger detained at LAX after opening exit door, activating emergency slide minutes before takeoff

A Delta airlines passenger on a flight scheduled to depart from LAX in Los Angeles was detained at the airport after allegedly opening an emergency exit door after boarding the plane, which in turn caused the plane’s emergency slide to be activated before the plane had taken off.

Los Angeles Airport Police reported that around about 10am EST, a passenger, who was wearing a striped red and navy blue sweater with black pants, rushed to the front of the plane while the plane was pushing away from the gate and approached one of the flight attendants and asked, “what do I do now?”

Passengers told FOX 11 that the flight attendant told the man to sit down as the plane is on an active runway, however he ignored this instruction and went to the plane’s emergency exit doors, turned the latch, opened the door, before sliding down the emergency slide.

The plane had to make an emergency stop.  Passengers informed Fox 11 that the passenger then leapt onto the back of a baggage cart where workers held him down until LAX Police got there.

“He is being taken to a local hospital for a mental evaluation,” Sgt. Devin Feldman said. 

The Los Angeles Airport Police confirmed that the FBI had been informed about the incident.

“Airport Police responded and detained the passenger for further investigation. Due to the circumstances, the FBI was notified,” Los Angeles Airport Police said in a statement to Fox News.

“Delta flight 1714 operating from Los Angeles to Seattle returned to the gate due to an unruly passenger. The aircraft was taxiing for takeoff when the passenger exited the aircraft and was initially detained by Delta staff ahead of being arrested by local law enforcement.” Delta Air Lines said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Customers are being re-accommodated on a new aircraft, and we apologize for the inconvenience and delay in their travel plans.”

Passenger Gillian Sheldon praised the quick-thinking of the Delta staff.

Delta was great. The flight attendants were amazing” she said.

“You always tell yourself, when you see these things on TV, that I would have done this or that, but honestly, it was so quick, there was no way to react,” she said. “Just glad it didn’t happen when we were midair, or it would have been a whole different outcome.”

Following the incident, the passengers were escorted off the plane and placed on another one.  The incident resulted in a 3-hour delay to their flight to Seattle, WA.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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