Authorities arrested and charged a United Airlines passenger on Thursday after he tried to bite a flight attendant and then jumped off the plane.
Luckily for the troubled passenger, the plane had yet to take off and he landed on the tarmac. Nevertheless, the man is facing federal charges and appeared Friday in federal court, but the hearing was postponed.
Passenger Jumps Off Flight
Some flights go smoothly, without any issues, delays, or unpleasant incidents. Other flights, meanwhile, can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. Just recently, for instance, a man sued American Airlines claiming that he sustained injuries after spending a 14-hour flight trapped next to two obese passengers.
Sometimes, however, things can take an unexpected turn and get downright dubious, like with this flight that suffered a delay because an unruly passenger had a fit and for some reason decided that he wants to jump off the plane.
On Thursday, May 25, 22-year-old Tun Lon Sein from Myanmar was aboard American Airlines flight 5242 at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in the United States.
As WSOC reports, Sein traveled from Thailand to Hong Kong, then New Jersey, and was on his way from Charlotte to New Bern. In Charlotte, however, he apparently got restless on the plane and got up from his seat and tried to open the plane's main door. The plane had just started to move away from the terminal to prepare for takeoff, but Sein's actions caused a considerable delay.
The criminal complaint reportedly notes that as the unruly passenger tried to open the main door, the flight attendant, along with two passengers, tried to convince Sein to get back to his seat, to no avail. Sein tried to bite the flight attendant and managed to open the galley service door, jumping off the plane and onto the tarmac.
Airport workers reportedly stopped Sein from running onto the taxiway, where he could've gotten himself hurt. Authorities then took him to a local hospital for treatment.
According to authorities, Sein likely understood the safety requirements since he could see that other passengers were seated and the seat belt signs were on. Moreover, since he had already flown into the United States, he was not at his first flight.
Sein can't really speak English, so it remains unclear just what caused his fit and prompted him to act in this manner. He appeared in federal court on Friday, but the Thai interpreter could not speak Sein's Karin language of lower Myanmar so the hearing had to be postponed.
According to CNN, American Airlines said in a statement that the plane had to return to the gate following a "security incident with a passenger." The plane had to be screened again and eventually landed at New Bern, North Carolina, with a 90-minute delay.
Sein is facing charges of interference with flight attendants and crew members on a commercial aircraft and the rescheduled hearing should take place on Thursday, June 1. Until then, Sein will have to spend the following days in jail.