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An unruly passenger was detained after trying to open an aircraft door on her flight Monday.
The incident occurred on SkyWest Airlines Flight 5449, which was flying from San Francisco (SFO) to Boise (BOI). The United Express-operated flight took off at 8:46 a.m., but soon after, passengers noticed something strange was going on.
Scott T. Smith was seated behind the woman when her seat started to shake.
“She wasn’t acting right, or normal, from the very beginning [of the flight],” Smith told the Idaho Statesman. Smith and the woman and her travel companion were seated in first class, which is laid out in 1-2 configuration on the Embraer 175.
Smith guessed the woman and her companion were afraid of flying.
Midway through the flight, the woman got up from her seat and ran over to the exit door in an attempt to open it — all the while she repeatedly screamed “I am god. I am god. I am god.”
Other passengers got up from their seats and attempted to restrain the woman, which they eventually were able to do when a man zip-tied her and hands and feet together.
It’s nearly impossible to open an aircraft’s door mid-flight due to cabin pressurization.
“The pilot came on the loudspeaker and told us to ‘stop her at all costs’ from opening up the door,” Danny Torres told KTVB.
Smith said the woman was repeating other phrases like “God has all the data;” “I don’t have any data;” “We landed in Boise 15 minutes ago;” “For three years.”
Smith said both the flight staff and other passengers remained calm throughout the incident. When the plane landed in Boise, police detained the woman at the gate. Boise Police Department Spokeswoman Haley Williams said the woman is now in custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, and none of the 73 passengers were injured.
Skywest released this statement about the incident:
“SkyWest flight 5449, operating as United Express from San Francisco to Boise, landed safely in Boise after reports of a customer attempting to open the aircraft door. The customer was restrained and law enforcement officials met the flight at the gate, where all passengers safely deplaned. The unruly customer was held for questioning by law enforcement.”
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