Flight Delayed After Naked Passenger Removed for Psych Evaluation
A flight headed to Seattle, Washington, from Anchorage, Alaska, was forced to return to Anchorage after a passenger reportedly locked himself in the bathroom, removed all of his clothing, and refused to follow instructions from the flight attendants who tried to calm him down.
“Alaska Airlines flight 146 from Anchorage to Seattle returned to Anchorage due to a passenger not following flight attendant’s instructions. While no emergency was declared, the decision was made to return to Anchorage,” Alaska Airlines spokesperson Tim Thompson confirmed.
“There was a subject on the aircraft that had barricaded or locked himself in the bathroom, the lavatory,” Airport Police and Fire Sgt. Darcy Perry added. “Flight attendants did find that the subject was naked.” She didn’t comment further.
Airport police and the FBI reportedly met the plane when it landed shortly before 3 A.M. and removed the man, taking him into custody. His identity was not released.
Kate Danyluk was on board at the time and said she knew something was off because the crew kept going back and forth down the aisles with rubber gloves on. “The police came on and took him out the back door,” she said, adding that other male passengers were standing near the bathroom to shield the view. She had heard “he had taken off his clothes and he just wasn’t in his right mind.”
Staci Feger-Pellessier, a spokesperson for the Anchorage FBI department, said further that the man was taken to a local psychiatric hospital for a mental health evaluation.
“No final determination has been made yet whether or not charges will be brought,” Chloe Martin, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office based in Alaska, explained.
“I’d rather go back to Anchorage than have something happen,” Danyluk said about the decision to turn the plane around and head back. “Safety first.”
There were 178 passengers on board at the time. The incident put them hours behind schedule for their trip to Seattle, as they were asked to get off the plane until the situation was handled. The passengers then re-boarded and the flight headed to its original destination just after 6:30 A.M. that morning.
Oddly enough, this wasn’t the first time a naked passenger had caused a flight to be delayed. In July of last year, a passenger aboard the budget airline which refers to itself as “the home of the Bare Fare,” Spirit Airlines, evidently took its tagline the wrong way.
A plane leaving Las Vegas and headed for Oakland, California, was put behind schedule after the unidentified individual decided to randomly strip and approach a flight attendant bare naked. McCarran International Airport notified police and medical responders right away, who took the passenger in for observation.
“He removed his clothes and then approached a flight attendant,” airport spokesperson Chris Jones reported. “Metro officers were called, and he was given medical attention.”
Police Lt. Carlos Hank confirmed the person received psychiatric treatment. Unlike the most recent episode, the Spirit flight ended up being delayed only about thirty minutes and arrived in Oakland about twenty minutes behind schedule.