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A disruptive passenger on a Frontier Airlines flight to Orlando had to be restrained by fellow passengers after he allegedly yelled about being stuck with needles by the woman behind him, forcing the flight to stop in Raleigh as he was led off.
The unidentified man was onboard flight 1335 from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Orlando on Wednesday night when he began yelling and complaining that the woman behind him was trying to steal his DNA with a syringe.
Video from inside the plane shows several male passengers trying to restrain the man.
‘You can’t do this!’ he screamed. ‘Oh my god.’
The flight was rerouted to Raleigh-Durham International Airport, where law enforcement, fire rescue and EMS were waiting to escort him off, according to WTVD.
Passenger disruptions have soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Federal Aviation Administration initiating 1,099 investigations into such cases in 2021, compared to 146 in 2019 and 159 in 2018.
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At least six passengers tried to restrain an unruly man aboard a flight from New York to Orlando on Wednesday night
The man allegedly threatened a baby onboard and threatened to kill everyone. He also claimed a woman was stabbing him with a needle to try to steal his DNA, one passenger said
Passenger disruptions have soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Federal Aviation Administration initiating 1,099 investigations into such cases in 2021
The unruly passenger on Wednesday’s flight threatened a baby and said he would kill everyone, another passenger told WTVD.
Video from the flight, which has been circulated on social media, shows the commotion inside the plane as at least six passengers crowded around him and tried to get him to stay put.
‘Hey y’all, he needs to sit in his seat,’ one woman can be heard saying. ‘So don’t tie his feet like that. He needs to be able to sit in his seat.’
The man screams: ‘Don’t let me go. No!’
‘They are now fighting,’ one woman adds, with a passenger screaming, ‘Tie him up!’
The man was eventually escorted off the plane after an emergency landing in Raleigh.
There have been 394 reports of unruly passengers so far this year, according to the FAA. Most of them, or 225, were related to the use of face masks, which are legally required on trains, planes, buses, airports and other transportation terminals.
Forty people have been fined or otherwise punished for violations this year.
The FAA began 1,099 investigations into passenger disruptions in 2021, compared to 146 in 2019 and 159 in 2018.
‘The FAA has seen a disturbing increase in incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior,’ the agency says on its website.
Wednesday night’s flight from New York to Orlando spent two hours at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, above, as the man was escorted off
There have been 394 reports of unruly passengers so far this year, according to the FAA, and most of them have been about passengers refusing to comply with the federal mask mandate
‘On January 13, 2021, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order directing a stricter legal enforcement policy against unruly airline passengers in the wake of recent, troubling incidents.’
The agency can now propose fines up to $37,000 per violation for unruly passenger cases, up from the previous maximum of $25,000.
The rate of unruly passenger incidents has dropped about 50 percent since record-highs in early 2021.
On January 19, a flight from Miami to London turned around after 90 minutes and landed back in Miami after a drunk first class passenger refused to follow the federal mask mandate.
The airline called Miami-Dade police and once the plane landed, officers escorted a woman off the plane at Miami International Airport Wednesday evening without incident.
The woman was traveling first class. Both she and her companion, whose gender has not been revealed, were drunk and refused to wear masks, sources said.
‘There was a lot of drinking involved and I was nervous,’ Steve Freeman, who was a front-row witness to the incident, told WPLG.
A London-bound American Airlines flight turned back about 500 miles into its 4,400-mile journey from Miami
Steve (right) and Teresa Freeman (left) were shocked police did not arrest the first-class American Airlines passenger whose apparently drunken actions caused a London-bound flight to return to Miami
‘She sat behind us in first class — she was a first-class passenger and was extremely abusive to the stewards.’
A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade Police Department said American Airlines staff dealt ‘administratively’ with the passenger, which involved her being placed on the airline’s no-fly list pending further investigation.
It was unclear if the passenger, a woman in her 40s, was British or American. She was put on American Airlines’ internal no-fly list pending further investigation.
The woman was not arrested, as she did not break local law. In September, President Joe Biden increased the federal penalty for people refusing to mask up on planes to $500.
The flight, which had been in the air for 90 minutes, was canceled as a result of the incident. Many passengers had to stay overnight in Miami to catch a re-booked flight on Thursday.
On Monday, Frontier and Spirit airlines announced a planned $6.6 billion merger.
The deal is being hilariously mocked on social media, where users say the partnership will yield ‘the absolutely worst airline of all time.’
Frontier airlines announced a $6.6billion merger with Spirit on Monday
Twitter users had a field day poking fun of a partnership between the nation’s worst-ranked airlines
The companies announced the deal Monday, shortly before Frontier was forced to ground all of its US flights due to ‘automation issues,’ resulting in hundreds of disgruntled passengers as the airline nixed and delayed 22 per cent of its flights.
Both airlines ranked among the worst in the nation in two recent studies, where their scores were dragged down by persistent delays, cramped cabins, and passenger complaints.
Social media users indicated little hope for improvement while blasting the partnership – which will create the nation’s fifth largest airline – on Twitter.
‘Frontier and Spirit Airlines are merging, creating the fifth largest, but absolutely worst airline of all time,’ tweeted @DAnthonyHiggins.
Added @amalia_CLE: ‘BYOP – Bring your own pilot. This can’t be good.’
Others took a slightly more optimistic approach, with actor @DAnthonyHiggins tweeting: ‘Their new motto, “Faster than taking a bus.”‘