<p>An American Airlines jet</p>

An American Airlines jet

Woman arrested after opening plane door, deploying inflatable slide and ‘running wild on tarmac’

‘Cops have arrived. Flight ruined. Memories made,’ tweets pro American footballer onboard

Lucy Thackray
Thursday 21 April 2022 14:30
Comments

A woman was arrested on Tuesday after she launched into a tirade at cabin crew, opened the plane door, deployed the inflatable slide and escaped to run amok on the tarmac at Buffalo Airport, New York State.

The passenger, named by local authorities as Cynthia McKnight, now faces charges including trespassing and criminal mischief.

The moment was captured by American football player Spencer Brown, who tweeted “Sitting on a plane. A lady is pissed. Lady pulls the emergency inflatable slide to escape the plane. Lady is running wild through the tarmac currently. Cops have arrived. Flight ruined. Memories made.”

Mr Brown also posted a photo of the inflatable slide stretching down from the parked plane, writing “And off into the sunset she goes, folks”.

The flight was an American Airlines service to Chicago, shortly before take-off. The pilot was forced to return to the gate after the initial confrontation.

“Cynthia McKnight faces a number of charges including disorderly conduct, harassment, trespass and criminal mischief,” the director of public affairs at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), Helen Tederous, told News 4 Buffalo.

“According to detectives, McKnight actually opened the cabin door of the plane. The American Airlines flight was on route to Chicago.”

An American Airlines spokesperson said: “Shortly after pushback from the gate at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) on April 19, American Eagle Flight 3933, with service to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), returned to the gate due to a disruptive customer.

“Prior to reattaching the jet bridge, the disruptive customer opened the main boarding door, which deployed the emergency slide, and exited the aircraft onto the ramp. The individual was quickly apprehended by local law enforcement and has been placed on American’s internal refuse list pending further investigation.

“We thank our team members for their professionalism and action to ensure the safety of our customers and crew.”

Last week one JetBlue flight crew experienced a mutiny on the tarmac after three aborted landings followed by an announcement that they would be taking off for a different airport.

The planeful of traumatised passengers on flight 1852 pleaded with flight attendants to let them off the aircraft after a rough landing at Newark Liberty International  in stormy conditions.

Multiple customers were captured on video shouting “Arrest me!” and saying, “I don’t want to go back up in the air”, with one man making a rousing speech on their behalf.

Meanwhile, a British passenger was banned for life from Jet2 in March, after shouting at and hitting cabin crew on her flight to Turkey.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in