An American Airlines first class passenger was gagged and duct-taped to seat after attempting to exit the aircraft mid-flight and biting a flight attendant in the process. But this does not appear to be another incident of mask-fueled rage onboard. Emerging details suggest this was instead a medical issue.
Woman Gagged, Duct-Taped To First Class Seat After Biting Flight Attendant On American Airlines
I’ve held off on writing about this story for a few days as I waited to see if more details emerged.
Initially, we had only a (now-removed) video report on TikTok by Arieana Mathena about AA1774, traveling from Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) to Charlotte (CLT) on July 6th. In it, she explained:
“It was about a two-hour flight and around 1.30 all of a sudden they started turning the lights on and we see flight attendants running up and down the aisles frantically, kind of like, whispering to each other, talking on the phone with somebody, just frantic.
“Everyone’s kinda like ‘now we’re alert, what’s going on’. So the flight attendants weren’t saying anything, they kept running to First Class, kinda doing things, grabbing bags from the overhead.
“It was kinda like chaos and nobody knew what was going on.
“Then the pilot goes on the intercom and makes an announcement saying: ‘We ask that you guys stay in your seats for the remainder of the flights unless it’s an extreme emergency. We understand that there’s a bad situation on the plane and we’re working to fix it.”
Sounds of screaming were coming from the first class cabin, leaving most passengers wondering what the “bad situation” onboard was.
An American Airlines spokesperson has now confirmed the passenger “attempted to open the forward boarding door and physically assaulted, bit and caused injury to a flight attendant.”
Mathena later added that a flight attendant finally offered an explanation:
“She started explaining that there was a passenger in the First Class section that they believed had autism or schizophrenia and she had an outburst and had the urge to get off the plane… She was screaming and frantic and she went up to the exits and started banging on them.
“It took all five flight attendants to subdue her and literally take her down.”
Police and medical personnel met the flight upon landing and took the woman off in a stretcher.
Several passengers took pictures of the women duct taped to her seat. Because it appears related to a disability rather than poor behavior fueled by alcohol or an anti-mask bias, I am not going to share her picture on this blog, though you can readily find it online if you are curious.
I’m happy to prominently feature the mug shots of little thugs who don’t think the rules apply to them. This case, it seems to me, is different. Should additional facts emerge, I will update this story (and even place her picture in it), but for now I wish to simply commend flight attendants for their efforts and pray that the duct-taped passenger gets the help that she needs.
image: Cory W. Watts