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. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
A United Airlines passenger was arrested Sunday night at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) after deploying and sliding down the aircraft’s inflatable emergency chute during boarding.
United Flight 1640 to Tampa International Airport (TPA) was parked at the gate at EWR when a passenger opened the emergency exit door and evacuated the plane using the slide. The flight, originally scheduled to depart EWR at 7:00pm, took off at 12:09am, about five hours behind schedule.
When law enforcement arrived at the scene, the passenger seemed panicked, shouting that he didn’t belong on the plane because it was the wrong flight, Port Authority officers told NBC 4 New York. Officials said despite his claims, the passenger was ticketed to be on the flight to Tampa. According to CBS, the passenger was immediately detained by airline staff and the Port Authority police, before being arrested.
After waiting 3 hrs for my delayed flight, we are finally about to be taxed onto the runway &some wacko decides to push past the flight attendants, pushes the emergency exit door& throws himself off the plane @united pic.twitter.com/J41U31b9Dx
— Jillian (@j_illibean) February 26, 2018
A United spokeswoman tells TPG that the EWR flight was originally delayed due to a late inbound aircraft. After the slide was inflated, passengers had to switch to a new aircraft, causing further delays. According to FlightAware, the flight landed in Tampa just before 3:00am Monday.
When an aircraft’s inflatable emergency slide is deployed, it can be extremely costly to replace. In 2010, a similar situation occurred when disgruntled JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater deployed the inflatable slide onboard a flight that landed at JFK International Airport. After a dispute with a passenger, Slater grabbed several beers, popped open the plane’s emergency chute and slid out of the aircraft. According to Forbes, it cost as much as $25,000 to replace the emergency slide after the dramatic exit.
Slater also had to pay a $2,500 jail bond after being arrested for reckless endangerment following the incident, NBC 4 New York reported in 2010.
In 2014, the International Air Transportation Association estimated that inadvertent slide deployment costs the airline industry more than $20 million each year.
H/T: Business Insider
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards