Flight Attendant Choked, Causing 7th Recent Unruly Hawaii Flight Diversion
Last week, another flight was diverted to Hawaii for a brief but unplanned island visit. This directly follows six other Hawaii-related diversions listed below for misconduct. All occurred recently and all flights were either to or from Hawaii or were diverted to Hawaii for geographic reasons.
Last week’s event took place on Air Canada Flight 35 from Vancouver. The flight was originally to Brisbane, flying only via Hawaii. But Hawaii, located in the middle of the longest stretch of the Pacific Ocean with no detour points, is often a good place to stop. And sometimes for unintended reasons.
Unruly passenger ‘chokes’ flight attendant; is arrested in Hawaii.
This passenger air rage event led to a flight attendant being allegedly “choked to death.” After the in-flight chaos, the passenger was tied sideways to his seat. One passenger reported that the problems stemmed from a man groping women on the plane, running down the aisle and “pulling up their skirts.”
Another passenger reported that flight attendants “took a couple of straps and strapped him sideways into a back-row seat” while the flight was diverted to Honolulu. In the video, the passenger screams and says, “I am being physically wronged; I can hardly feel my hands.”
Honolulu Airport authorities boarded the plane and the passenger was arrested.
Six recent unruly passenger incidents in Hawaii.
Six more Hawaii flight diversions have taken place in recent months due to passenger behavior.
1. In December, a disruptive passenger incident occurred on a flight to Southwest Hawaii. In this case, an altercation between passengers resulted in the plane returning to Hawaii. Southwest said it was due to “customer behavior.” It was reported that the pilot told the passengers, “If you kids don’t stop fighting, I’m going to turn this plane around and fly back to Honolulu.” And that’s exactly what happened. It is not known if any passengers were arrested, but at least one was escorted off the plane.
2. Last fall, Hawaiian Airlines suffered a recalcitrant passenger accident that resulted in a plane returning to the gate, with the offending passenger being removed and arrested. The flight was delayed. HA Flight 452 was being flown from Sydney to Honolulu when a passenger interfered. The 36-year-old California resident bought a business class seat but accidentally ended up in economy class.
“Upon boarding, cabin crew directed the defendant to an economy seat, resulting in the defendant verbally abusing staff.” Even after the passenger was properly seated, he again became abusive towards flight attendants, one of whom in a misguided attempt to comfort her, put her hand on the passenger’s shoulder. That caused further excitement, as did an incident involving the removal of a pre-flight drink. Along with the cabin crew, the captain believed that the suspect’s erratic and disorderly behavior posed a safety hazard on the flight. The takeoff was aborted, and after further altercations at the gate with Hawaiian Airlines and police, the passenger was arrested, tried, and fined.
3. Also, last fall, a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Honolulu never made it to Hawaii. Instead, the Boeing 777 flight returned to San Francisco. The problem was erratic passenger behavior. One commenter explained: “Reason – vague details about a traveler who became mentally ill and his behavior became erratic.” Another commented: “The guy got in and tried to take an Economy Plus seat (22B) in front of me. Interestingly, he had no pockets and was quite dodgy. The lady assigned to that seat came and took him back to his 46K seat. 1.5 hours in flight he stood at door 2 left lav. Soon there were about 4 people around the sink and moments later he stumbled out and fell to the floor. The crew inspected the sink with their flashlights and I saw a crew with the smoke detector in the galley. They finally buckled him in 16F and you could hear him yelling and swearing all the way back to the SFO.”
4. Last summer, another recalcitrant passenger accident occurred at Hawaiian Airlines when a guest attempted to enter the cockpit of the Airbus A330 en route from New York to Honolulu. When this plane landed in Honolulu, it was intercepted by law enforcement. The passenger remained buckled during the flight. However, they were not arrested by the authorities.
5. Just one day before the Hawaiians’ attempted cockpit break-in, United Airlines made another diversion to Hawaii. UA 33 was en route from Tokyo to LA. Instead, the 787 Dreamliner landed in Honolulu because an offending passenger became physically abusive and as a result was restrained with zip ties during the flight. While the police were collecting the plane at the arrival gate, we were told that the passenger was not being held. The other passengers were accommodated in Honolulu, and their flight continued to Los Angeles the next day after a mandatory crew rest period.
6. Also last summer, another Hawaiian Airlines flight was diverted to HNL when a drunk passenger attempted to hit a flight attendant. The flight turned into the flight to Seoul about 4 hours, and upon landing, the passenger was arrested in Honolulu.