An American Airlines flight from Tokyo to Dallas diverted to Seattle after a passenger became enraged that her in-seat power outlet stopped working and attempted to breach the flight deck after flight attendants were unable to fix the problem.
American Airlines 787 Diverts After Irate Passenger Pounds Flight Deck Door
The incident occurred onboard AA60 from Tokyo (NRT) To Dallas (DFW) on Wednesday. Waka Suzuki passed time by watching movies on her mobile phone. But about four hours into the flight her phone battery was nearing empty and she attempted to charge it. However, her power outlet was turned off (it is not clear why). She requested it be turned on but flight attendants were unable to turn it on.
Suzuki began screaming at flight attendants, becoming “increasingly hostile and belligerent.” Unable to fix the problem, Suzuki took matters into her own hands and rushed down the aisle (from her seat in economy class) and kept going until she reached the flight deck door in the front of the plane.
She proceeded to bang on the door and get the captain’s attention.
Suzuki was promptly restrained with plastic handcuffs and the captain declared a “Level Three Lockdown” which, per the FAA, means:
Weapon displayed/used, credible terrorist threats, credible bomb threats, or actual use of bombs, sabotage of aircraft systems, credible threats of hijacking, and deadly hand-to-hand techniques such as choking or eye gouging.
While that may have been overkill, the captain decided to divert to Seattle (SEA).
In Seattle, Suzuki, who was traveling with her mother for a 10 day holiday in Cancun, was arrested. She admitted to law enforcement that she had banged on the flight deck door, but claimed she only did so because the crew was “rude and dismissive” of her request.
The crew claimed that she elbowed and punched them, but she said that was only in reaction to them spitting on her while trying to subdue her. No alcohol or medication were involved.
There is no defending Suzuki’s actions, but I have to imagine the crew may have been dismissive of her. No offense to many of the wonderful flight attendants at American Airlines, but I can just see a senior DFW-based crew screaming at her slowly in English, as if she was a little child, and perhaps not even trying to address her power issue. With only 60 people onboard the flight, I’m not sure why she didn’t try a different seat, unless power was off for the entire cabin.
In any case, let’s all remember to treat others with respect today and when you are not treated with the respect you deserve, the answer isn’t to cause a flight diversion…
(image: American Airlines // H/T: Paddle Your Own Kanoo)
way to victim shame (the F/A’s). unless you have been living in a cave for the last 20 years, you would know that there is NEVER an excuse for banging on the cockpit door. I highly doubt the captain would divert unless he/she felt it was absolutely necessary.
I can only speak to my own experiences and it makes me cringe on flights to East Asia when U.S.FAs start yelling at Chinese, Japanese, or Korean passengers. I’ve seen it too many times…
Seems to be another overreaction by a flight crew. Once the lady is in handcuffs, she isn’t going to be hijacking the airplane.
@ Matthew — Maybe the idiot should bring a battery pack to charge her phone next time.
She certainly did not come prepared.
Waka Suzuki could be the very first member of Klint’s Koffee Klub. But I recommend you pour her decaf.
There’s no excuse for that passengers behavior under any circumstances.
Can you link to the court documents?
If one is banging on the cockpit door, what else is it supposed to be except an attempted breach??
Too bad there weren’t FAMs onboard to give this cunt two in the back of the head.
The mind boggles.
But did she keep her mask on the whole time? That’s what’s really important…
Hey Matthew, I signed up to the blog a couple of months ago, as a private pilot who also loves to travel, collect and use miles I love the content and your insights. I live in Vancouver Canada land of Eh and Please and Thank you ( for the most part ). I literally cannot understand or believe how badly people are acting on flights as the industry re-starts. I feel badly for the crew ( even when they seem to over react, I wonder if sometimes they know in doing so that the punishment for a diversion or calling for the police to meet the aircraft at the gate will stop that one bad apple from flying anytime soon ). In this case Waka’s actions have probably diverted her and her mothers holiday and maybe required them to find a different way back home… I would love to see folks like this have to formally apologize to the crew for their actions and make restitution by having to stand at the gate / bridge asking passengers ” do you have a charger for your devices ” Thanks and look forward to your on going posts.
What TRASH reporting this is. The author has no evidence or facts to back up ANY of the allegations he’s made against the flight attendants. I’ve seen better journalism from Maury Povich. Live and Let’s Fly should be utterly ashamed of this abhorrent piece of trash article, and it’s “author”.
Matthew, Three Japanese speaking flight attendants, one native, were accommodating her at her seat and allowing her to move to ANY of the other 150 open seats in coach. Her phone was charging, just not to 100%, as she was using it but it was not sufficient in her mind. I realize there are embarrassingly rude flight attendants but please don’t make assumptions on these stories, just the facts that you can obtain. I have just given you some, as I was there!
Thanks Jerry. Greatly appreciate your input and I stand corrected!
Matthew, you should not make assumptions if you to wish be taken as more than a common blogger. I was on the flight and there were three Japanese speaking flight attendants, one native female, working with her for the first few hours of the flight and accommodating her in any seat (there was maybe 150 seats open) she wanted and explaining to her that her phone isn’t going to be 100% charged while she is watching videos or playing games on her phone. They were even plugging in their own phones showing that it is charging. I realize there are embarrassingly rude FA’s but to make that suggestion without facts, regardless of experiences, is not journalism, it is opinion. So, if this is an opinion piece then my mistake, keep up the ‘good’ work, otherwise it is best to report the facts obtained not opinion based on a few experiences.
Whether it’s about the frustration of their jobs as flight attendants being disrupted because of the Coivd -19 pandemic or what,it seems like the flight attendants of American Airlines, Delta, and other United States-based airlines have an attitude problem. There seem to be a lot of inflight problems with passengers that escalated because of the way that the crew handled it. Could it be because the FAA and their unions are overly protecting them?
Whoever wrote this article is an idiot. Plan and simple. Do us all a favor, take the bus. Moron
Lawrence, I think you meant “plain” and not “plan”. Thanks for reading!