Tension on an American Airlines plane in Honduras: a passenger broke into the cabin and smashed the flight controls

A passenger broke into the cabin of an American Airlines plane at an airport in Honduras Y damaged the plane while boarding a flight to Miami before being detained, the airline said Tuesday.

The crew members intervened and the man, who was not immediately identified, was arrested by local authoritiesAmerican Airlines said in a statement. There were no reports of injuries.

The suspect ran down the catwalk and entered the cabin, As reported ABC News, damaging the flight controls and attempting to jump out of an open window while the pilots tried to stop him.

“We applaud our outstanding crew members for their professionalism in handling a difficult situation.“American said in its statement.

The damaged plane, a Boeing 737-800 with 121 passengers and six crew members, it was grounded at the Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the airline said.

An American Airlines Boeing 737-800 takes off from Caracas airport. (REUTERS / Andres Martinez Casares / archive) (Andres Martinez Casares /)

A replacement plane was on the way to Honduras and was scheduled to depart at 9:30 pm local time.

In September, an American Airlines passenger opened the emergency exit of a plane that landed in Miami and got on the wing before being arrested.

The pandemic triggers altercations with passengers

The episode occurs at a time when U.S. airline workers and government agencies have reported a sharp increase in altercations with aggressive and violent passengers During last year.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opened more than 1000 investigations for misconduct last year, up from 183 in 2020 and 146 in 2019. More than 70% of the nearly 6,000 total reports of unruly passengers in 2021 were related to the obligation to use masks on airlines, although flight attendants say they have also encountered passengers drunk and verbally abusive.

A traveler wears a protective mask on an airplane (REUTERS / Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
A traveler wears a protective mask on an airplane (REUTERS / Mohamed Abd El Ghany) (MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY /)

The FAA responded to the increase in aggressive behavior by imposing a “zero tolerance” policy last year, imposing over a million dollars in fines to passengers accused of threatening or violent behavior while in the air. The US Department of Justice also said in November that it would give priority to criminal charges against some offenders, after airline trade groups and unions lobbied US officials to crack down on unsafe behavior on flights.

In the last weeks, United States airlines are also being forced to cancel thousands of flights due to the lack of personnel infected by the coronavirus.

The American airline United Airlines, One of the largest in the world, said on Tuesday that it will continue to cut flights soon by having some 3,000 employees currently infected with covid-19 in the midst of the omicron variant wave. Other airlines such as American Airalines, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines had already announced that they were going to reduce the number of flights in January for the same reason.

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He jumped onto the wing of a plane after opening an emergency door after landing: he was arrested