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American In-Flight Incident Ends with Alleged Duct Taping to Seat

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Duct tape was allegedly used once again to restrain a passenger to a seat – this time used aboard an American Airlines flight against a boy. News reports say the child was attempting to kick out a window, but an altercation between his mother and brother could have been the catalyst.

A child leaving Hawaii may have been duct taped to his seat, after allegedly attempting to kick out an airplane window. Multiple news reports say the boy was physically restrained to his seat, resulting in the pilot diverting the flight to remove the family.

Video Shows Duct Tape, but American Says Only Plastic Cuffs Used

The incident happened aboard American Airlines Flight 212, departing Kahului Airport Maui (OGG) for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. Video from Los Angeles TV station KCAL shows a flight attendant working with two passengers to tie down an unseen passenger using what appears to be zip ties. Later, the flight attendant is seen returning to the seat with a roll of duct tape.

According to an American Airlines statement, only flex cuffs were used to secure the child to the seat. Witnesses speaking to DailyMail.com say duct tape was used to secure the child to the seat “for the safety of other passengers.”

The reports from KCAL and DailyMail.com disagree on the child’s age, or if he has Autism. According to witnesses on the flight speaking to both outlets, the boy was allegedly stressed from a fight involving his disabled mother and his brother. After takeoff, the child was reportedly agitated to the point where he attempted to kick out a window.

Once the passenger was secured, the pilot diverted the flight to Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL). The child was taken into custody by airport police, while other passengers were re-accommodated on another flight.

The incident marks the second time duct tape was allegedly involved in stopping a passenger’s disruptive behavior. Earlier in August 2021, a Frontier Airlines flight crew used the tape to secure a flyer that assaulted an attendant.

Tensions Continue Between Airlines and Autistic Flyers

Although the child was disruptive, the episode is another example of families fighting with airlines over how to handle potentially Autistic flyers. In March 2021, Spirit Airlines was accused of not allowing a toddler with Autism to fly without a face covering, despite having a doctor’s note. The airline has since changed their policy for valid medical exemptions.

SamirD August 17, 2021

This article sponsored by Duct Tape--Duct Tape, not only for your Ducts but also for unruly F...... I'm actually considering carrying a roll in my carry-on in case they run out and need some mid-flight as it seems to work.

DMIND00 August 17, 2021

Yes this child should be banned. Flying is a privilege and as stated above MRM nailed it. There are people who various reasons do not belong on planes because of their unruly behavior. I too am sick and tired of obnoxious loud kids as well. I watch the parents of these kids and they are parents that should never have had children as they have to child teaching skills on how to act in public. I agree at the rate this country is going we will never see polite normal flying from now on. I hate to be a pessimist but its the truth. Unless parents act like adults and instill good behavior habits we are going to continue to have disruptive flights. I wish I could be more optimistic. For others to feel that unruly passengers should not be restrained are crazy. If that window was broke out harm would be caused to other passengers. The child probably would have been sucked out of the plane. So put a real perspective to this action. Or maybe for those who think just let the person be, it will take a serious incident to change there mind or those feel that the individuals outburst and threats more important than the rest of the passenger and crew.

bloomz August 13, 2021

I'd like to be on a plane where this happens, has to be good for a yuk

greer August 13, 2021

A 13 yr old lad can be as big and as strong as a man. There must be some way to sort these autistic youth out before they board. My memory goes to a flight between New Zealand and Narita Japan where there was a large autistic lad, father a Rugby player in Japan, and the kids were travelling with mother. This youth would not sit down and buckle in. Was a menace. On going into landing in Narita, took off and went into the galley. A flight crew member had to push him to the ground and sit on him til the plane landed and came to a stop. Why should they be allowed to jeopardise every other passengers safety.

jimmydigits August 13, 2021

Sedate these guys and wheel them to jail on gurneys.