Delta plane makes emergency landing after passenger assaults flight attendant, police say
A flight made an emergency landing at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City after an unruly passenger allegedly assaulted a flight attendant and air marshal.
A Delta flight from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles required an emergency landing in Oklahoma City on Thursday night after a passenger allegedly assaulted two people, authorities said.
“The passenger assaulted a flight attendant,” Oklahoma City Police Capt. Arthur Gregory told CNN. An air marshal on board Flight 324 also allegedly was assaulted while attempting to subdue the passenger, who was eventually restrained.
The Boeing 757-200 aircraft landed at Will Rogers World Airport at around 7:40 p.m. local time, Gregory said. The suspect, a man in his mid-30s, was removed from the flight and interviewed by the FBI.
The suspect was being held in a local jail overnight, said Gregory, who did not have information on the man’s name or the charges he might face. There was no word on the nature of the injuries to the flight attendant and air marshal.
Delta Air Lines hailed the “quick action and professionalism of the crew and Federal Air Marshals” on the flight. “We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience,” it said.
The flight left Oklahoma City after a delay of about an hour. Video from CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS showed the plane landing at Los Angeles International Airport at 10:18 p.m. local time.
You’ve heard the incessant announcements at the boarding gate, pleading with people to check their roller bags on full flights.
The earlier you check your bag, the earlier it’s loaded. If the last person to board is the one whose bag gets pried from their hands and sent to cargo, it’s more likely that takeoff will be delayed than had all bags been loaded earlier. Thankfully, many airline credit cards offer free checked bags, and it’s also a perk often offered to airline elite status members. So you might want to think about checking your bag at the counter before you even get through security. Or, if you know you’ll be last to board anyway, gate-check it early.
When it comes to cleaning, many hotel companies provide housekeeping only upon request. Consider if you really need it — or if you can make your own bed.
The leisure and hospitality industry lost 8.2 million jobs in March and April 2020 — an employment decline of 49%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While travel-related jobs are returning (the air transportation sector added 9,200 jobs in October and the accommodations sector added 23,200 jobs), be cognizant that employees may be new, and companies may still be short-staffed. If you use services like housekeeping, tip generously.
In some cases, technology can solve problems you might otherwise have needed an employee for.
Use mobile check-in to display your airline boarding pass on your phone, no printing necessary. You can also expedite your security wait time with apps like Clear, which use biometric data and allow you to skip to the front of the line. Some hotels can send virtual keys via mobile check-in, so you can skip the front desk altogether. Preorder meals online so cashiers don’t have to take your order.
Nam Y. Huh
A June letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland from 10 major pilot and flight attendant unions cited a “substantial increase in and growing escalation of passengers’ unruly and disruptive behavior onboard aircraft, particularly toward crewmembers.”
About 73% of 2021’s unruly passenger reports have been mask-related, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“The duty of enforcing this rule falls to our pilots and flight attendants at 30,000 feet, and passengers who refuse to comply make our difficult jobs harder than they have to be,” said Capt. Eric Ferguson, president of the Allied Pilots Association, a union representing American Airlines pilots, in an August statement.
Even if you disagree with policies, respect the employees who have to follow them. And understand that COVID-19 safety rules vary by location. One city might be tougher than another, so don’t be surprised if your road trip lunch break is mask-free but you’re required to don masks during dinner.
Given the rate of unruly passenger reports, it’s perhaps no coincidence that some airlines have suspended in-flight alcoholic beverage service. Even if you’re having a tipple in the terminal before takeoff, drink and act appropriately.
Anywhere you go, have respect for others’ personal space — especially during a pandemic — and remember that a little kindness goes a long way in the service industry.
It’s OK to complain when things are truly bad. Most travel companies offer online customer service forms, and many use social media to field complaints. Just remember that the customer service employee may not have the power to immediately fix the situation.
Sure, there are the grumpy or entitled folk who act like one-star travelers at airports and hotels, but it doesn’t help anyone to be that person. To have a five-star travel experience, first be a five-star traveler yourself.