One impatient man is now in jail after opening the overwing emergency exit, walking onto the wing, then jumping onto the ground as his United Airlines 737-900 aircraft neared the gate at Chicago O’Hare Airport.
Man Opens Emergency Exit On United Airlines 737-900, Jumps Out Onto Wing While Aircraft Is Moving
The incident occurred early this morning onboard United Airlines flight UA2478, a Boeing 737-900 traveling from San Diego (SAN) to Chicago (ORD). The redeye from California arrived 4:30am into Chicago without incident. But as the aircraft taxied to the gate, a man apparently opened the overwing exit in row 21, climbed out of the aircraft and onto the wing, then jumped down.
— MaryEllen Eagelston (@MEEagelston) May 5, 2022
The man was stopped by ground crew and held until law enforcement could arrive. He is now being held, pending charges. The incident delayed the arrival of the aircraft into the gate by 20 minutes:
United Airlines had little to say about the incident:
“This morning United flight 2478 was taxiing toward the gate at Chicago O’Hare when a passenger opened an aircraft door and exited the plane. Our ground crew stopped the individual outside of the aircraft, and the person is now with law enforcement. The plane then arrived at the gate and all passengers deplaned safely. The safety of our customers and crew is our highest priority.”
Needless to say, a flight ban is expected and if the emergency slide raft deployed, I would hope United would come after the passenger for the immense cost of reseting that.
I’d be interested to know why the man could not wait an extra five minutes until the aircraft arrived at the gate. Too much alcohol? Did his seatmate stink? Whatever the reason, the man now faces a heap of trouble for his foolish action.