A woman was duct-taped to her seat on an American Airlines flight after she supposedly tried to open a plane door and bit a flight attendant.
The unpleasant event was captured on camera by a fellow traveller on the American flight from Dallas to Charlotte on July 6.
The restrained traveller, who’s not been named, was believed to have experienced a mental health episode, approximately two hours into the three-hour journey.
TikTok user @lol.ariee, Arieana Mathena, said that it was obvious something was occurring near the front of the plane and started securing the bathroom doors, and she said that the crew started frantically running up and down the aisle to secure the aircraft as best they could.
Eventually, the captain made an announcement and told passengers to stay in their seats mentioning only that there was a problem towards the front of the aircraft.
After the aircraft landed, the woman could be seen still duct-taped to her seat complete with the tape placed directly over her chin.
She was forced to stay in her seat as other travellers were permitted to deplane, while paramedics were also observed standing by with a stretcher at the gate.
American Airlines confirmed in a statement that the passenger was restrained after causing crew members concern.
A statement read that while in flight from Dallas Fort Worth to Charlotte on July 6, the crew onboard American Airlines flight 1774 reported a possible security concern after a customer tried to open the forward boarding door and physically attacked, bit and caused harm to a flight attendant.
The statement continued that for the safety and security of other customers and the crew, the person was restrained until the flight landed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and could be met by law enforcement and emergency workers.
The woman was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation, before being put on American Airlines’ no-fly list.
Perhaps this might not have been the greatest example of how to handle violent air travellers when they become uncontrollable, and I guess the tape across the chin was a bonus. Some big cable ties might come in handy too, and it’s a wonder that flights don’t have some of the heavy-duty large ones on board.
Rest assured, no amount of turbulence was going to bounce this lady from her seat – she was strapped in well enough to have survived hitting a brick wall, but really, there’s nothing funny about people having a mental health meltdown on a plane, and it’s especially stressful and dangerous for the crew, the other passengers and the lady concerned, but this woman is unwell and requires help, not to be made fun of.
There needs to be a better way of restraining passengers, in this type of incident, than duct tape. Now the poor woman has her photo plastered all over the papers.
There must be a much better way, and that the crew would have been trained in, and I’d be curious to know why the crew didn’t use it and if this level of restraint is allowed by law?
Well, if flight attendants need to, they can restrain a passenger on a flight, but some airlines have plastic zip tie type cuffs or seat belt extenders the flight attendants can use to bind the hands, and zip ties or tuff ties are what flight crews are legally permitted to use in case they need to restrain a passenger, but this is only an extreme measure that they will reinforce in case someone is out of control.