Passenger Attacks Delta Flight Attendant, Forcing Plane to Turn Back

Jul 7, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update 7/8/17 11:30am: A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Seattle alleges the passenger, identified as 23-year old Joseph Hudek, was traveling on a “dependent pass” provided by a Delta employee and attempted to open an emergency exit door while the plane was in flight at 32,000 feet. According to the complaint, as the flight crew and other passengers attempted to restrain him, he punched a flight attendant twice and hit another passenger with a bottle of wine. He was then hit himself by a flight attendant with two wine bottles, one of which broke over his head.

Eventually the passengers and crew were able to zip-tie Hudek’s hands together to stop him and the flight returned to Seattle. The US Attorney released this photograph showing the galley after the aircraft had landed:


Last night, Delta flight 129 took off from Seattle (SEA) on time at 5:10pm local time (8:10pm ET). But, instead of heading across the Pacific to its intended destination of Beijing (PEK), about two and a half hours later, the Delta 767-300 ended up landing back at SEA because of a “security incident” that occurred in the business-class cabin.

According to The Washington Post, a business-class passenger attacked a flight attendant just about one hour after takeoff. Following the attack, other travelers stepped in to help subdue the 23-year-old man from Florida from any further attack. There were initial reports that the attacker had attempted to enter the cockpit, however, Perry Cooper, a Seattle-Tacoma International Airport spokesperson denied that actually occurred.

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 9.07.04 AM

“The passenger was restrained onboard and was removed from the flight by law enforcement without further incident when the aircraft arrived back in Seattle,” a Delta spokeswoman said. Upon the plane’s return to SEA, the flight attendant who was attacked and another passenger who helped to subdue the attacker received medical attention. At this time, the severity of their injuries are unknown.

At the time the plane landed back at SEA, the passenger who attacked the flight attendant was taken into custody by the Port of Seattle Police Department. In addition, Cooper said that both the FBI and police have been questioning other passengers who were on board. “Right now, we have no information to suggest this was a national security threat.”

Delta flight 129 ended up taking off without incident for Beijing just after midnight local time. As of this writing, the plane is still en route.

Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.