Delta Airlines: Three Injured When Passenger Tries To Enter Cockpit, Aircraft Escorted Back To Seattle By Air Force Jets

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A Beijing bound Delta Airlines flight was escorted back by fighter jets to it’s origin in Seattle on Thursday night after a passenger attempted to enter the cockpit.

The incident also resulted in three injuries including one crew member, likely due to an altercation with the offending passenger.

The cockpit crew followed protocol and notified Air Traffic Control and immediately turned the flight back to Seattle-Tacoma.

CNN (access here) aired a breaking news story just now.

A Delta Air Lines flight turned back after takeoff from Seattle to Beijing on Thursday night following a “security incident” in the first class cabin.

Initial information indicated an unruly passenger attempted to enter the jet’s cockpit, according to two people briefed on the incident.

But Port of Seattle Airport spokesman Perry Cooper said the plane turned back after a passenger attacked a flight attendant in the first class cabin. He said the incident took place in the front part of the twin-aisle aircraft, in the first class cabin.

Several passengers stepped in to subdue the alleged attacker, Cooper said.

Three people were injured in the incident aboard Delta flight 129, including one passenger and one flight attendant, according to Cooper. The unruly passenger was also injured, but he declined medical care.

The Boeing 767 returned safely to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport around 7:40 p.m. local time under a Department of Defense escort, according to the two people briefed on the incident. …

The suspect, a 23-year-old man from Florida, was arrested by the Port of Seattle Police Department, the FBI said in a statement. It said the suspect’s initial federal court appearance is Friday.

It’s rather strange that a Delta spokesperson would say ‘First Class Cabin’ as the airline doesn’t operate First Class on this route but their DeltaOne Business Class product.

I wonder what caused one of the passengers to go this berserk that it eventually cause three people including himself being injured. If it wasn’t such a serious matter I’d say he probably wasn’t happy with the service provided on Delta.


The incident caused a six hour delay until the flight was able to take off again for Beijing after passengers were interviewed and the aircraft serviced to be ready to continue the journey. I wouldn’t be surprised if they needed a fresh crew as well. The flight eventually departed Seattle at 11pm Pacific Time. That’s going to be a long and exhausting journey, especially for those passengers in Economy Class.

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  • TriggeredLiberal

    The FA forgot to pass out the crayons?
    CNN will have an exclusive with this young entitled flyer as the victim.

  • S.brennan

    Sebastien- your callous comments are horrible! You belittle the efforts of the passengers and crew – I wonder what you would say if they saved your life. I doubtit would be a frivolous comment about the service. Those people stopped a potential terrorist and you wonder what caused it? There are a lot of unbalanced people flying- hopefully all who gave aid were not seriously injured while protecting the cockpit.

    • cscasi

      Like the “potential terrorist” as you refer the idiot who caused the problem, would ever have gotten into the cockpit, what with thee reinforced door. Oh, did he have any weapons with him or an explosive? Otherwise, he was just disgruntled or whatever; not a “terrorist”.

      • s brennan

        Anyone attempting to get into the cockpit is a threat- to every person on that aircraft. And how nonchalant you are about a crew members being attached. It’s a felon. Not just a small issue with a disgruntled passenger. Any passenger trying to get in the cockpit is dangerous . Thankfully some passengers help out.

  • Malcolm

    Passengers that are violent and deliberately disrupt a flight should be banned from flying for a year or more on any airline. Serving alcohol should be limited to two or three drinks and passengers must submit to a breathalizer test if asked to prior to boarding. Airlines must be prohibited by law from tossing involuntary passengers from a flight once they are on board.