Dutch media is reporting that a KLM passenger’s violent tantrum in the early morning hours on Saturday led officials to dispatch military aircraft to intercept the flight. The erratic flyer, said to be a U.S. citizen, is accused of drunkenly assaulting fellow air travelers before crew members managed to restrain him and the plane was able to land safely in Amsterdam.
An American passenger accused of violently disrupting a KLM flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) isn’t the first person to allegedly drunkenly cause trouble aboard an overnight flight. This 23-year-old flyer managed, however, to cause enough of a fracas that authorities felt compelled to make the rare decision to scramble two F-16 fighter jets to intercept the plane.
According to the South China Morning Post, the violent and aggressive flyer injured several passengers before the crew was eventually able to restrain the rampaging passenger. By this time, military jets armed with air-to-air-missiles had already been dispatched to provide an escort for the passenger plane which later landed on schedule at AMS. Two passengers reportedly received black eyes among other less obvious injuries during the bizarre one-man-inflight-melee. For a brief time, witnesses say, the aggressive and violent flyer was roaming about the cabin randomly assaulting fellow passengers.
“A 29-year-old American man became aggressive after being asked by a purser to return to his seat,” Police spokesperson Joanna Helmonds told the newspaper. “A scuffle broke out and the cabin crew, together with other passengers managed to restrain the man.”
Helmonds said the passenger was taken into custody by police, but officials became concerned that the allegedly intoxicated and aggressive man showed signs of being “disoriented.” He was then taken for psychiatric evaluation.
A spokesperson for KLM told reporters that the airline “regretted the unpleasant incident,” but praised crew members’ handling of the difficult situation, adding that “passengers and crew have laid a complaint against the man.”
Image: WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB