Belligerent Passengers Take Over Airplane

October 20, 2007

in Passenger Stories

I was 15 and flying alone from London to Orlando, and had to change planes in Miami. It was late evening and most of the plane was filled with families from Puerto Rico heading to Disney World.

We didn’t leave on time and were told the ground crew was working to get a cargo door shut. The flight attendants began dispensing beverages (full bar, of course…). We sat at the gate for 2 hours. By then, many of the adults headed to Disney were pretty well tanked. They started to get belligerent. Up and down the aisles, conferring among themselves. I was getting nervous. Then a couple of the men got into a shouting match with an attendant (in Spanish, I couldn’t understand any of it). One guy goes up to the cockpit door and starts banging on it. The attendant runs off the plane. A guy from the airline runs on board and tries to reason with the drunks. They push him out of the way and now, they are trying to break into the cockpit, slamming their shoulders into the door, kicking at it, etc.

I am in the back of the plane with a half dozen other terrified people.

Finally, what looks like all of Miami airport’s security force storms aboard. They handcuff and haul off the guys who were trying to break into the cockpit (I guess they wanted to beat up the pilot? who knows…). Their wives are beating on the police. Their kids are shrieking. The wives get arrested. A bunch of airline personnel arrive and make every single person in that tour group get off the plane.

It was one those jumbo jets. We left Miami with 7 passengers and, I believe, a lot of luggage from the ejected passengers.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

paul July 8, 2008 at 1:00 pm

if the passenger is not on board, the baggage must be removed.. it's a rule.

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anon July 15, 2008 at 2:49 pm

I'm sure a 15 year old knows the rules and regulations of the FAA (no offense to the original poster). Besides he/she was probably trying to point out the large number of people escorted from the airplane.

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JL August 14, 2008 at 2:14 pm

This was written about something that occurred years ago, probably before 9/11. Luggage traveled by itself plenty of times. Lighten up.

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Patti April 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm

That's AWESOME!! Empty flight! Woot!

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Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 6:13 pm

That's incredible. You could sit anywhere you darn well wanted on that flight after that! 😐

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Sharon April 8, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Nowadays they would probably cancel the entire flight unless the jet was needed at the next location. Heck, now the cancellations would fall like well-placed dominos and the remaining passengers would be praying for room on the same flight tomorrow.

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Shannon April 15, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Open seats? Awesome!!!!!

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