One of the passengers allegedly “rushed the cockpit” three times before having to be escorted out by a flight attendant on an Alaska Airlines flight from Orlando to San Diego that was supposed to land in New Orleans.
The Boeing 737MAX pilots of Alaska trip AS379 decided to make a diversion to Louisiana just over an hour into what was supposed to be a typical five-hour cross-country trip to California from Orlando.
One passenger on the aircraft explains why the aeroplane had to divert on the well-known Flyer Talk show, claiming that at one point, one of the other passengers even started to knock on the cockpit door.
“I was flying the MCO-SAN non stop last night but it turned out we had a really long stop,” the passenger wrote. “A young man sitting in back, most-likely on drugs to celebrate 4/20, rushed the cockpit door THREE times in the first hour of our flight.”
“First he went to the front not long after the plane took off and the FAs (flight attendants) turned him around and sent him to the rear. At that point he was doing a lot of strange things in the back like crouching and spreading his arms like a bird. Later, one pilot was using the restroom and he went bolting to the front,” he continued.
“The male FA chased after him and turned him around again and he returned to his seat. Third time being the charm, he briskly walked to the front and started knocking on the cockpit door.”
The flight attendants now asked for volunteers to watch the disruptive passenger, particularly members of the military or law enforcement who were not already on duty. For the remainder of the flight, two “big guys” sat next to him as the pilots made a detour to New Orleans.
While the other passengers endured an extended delay while the jet was refuelled and paperwork was completed, one passenger on the ground appeared to simply exit the aircraft while on the phone.
In the end, the flight was about two hours late in reaching San Diego.