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What Would You Do If A Pax Tried to Open the Emergency Exit?

What Would You Do If A Pax Tried to Open the Emergency Exit?
Jackie Reddy

A woman was restrained by her fellow passengers after trying to open the door of her Detroit-bound plane after it departed from Indianapolis. DTW authorities confirmed that the incident was investigated by the FBI, which said it wouldn’t bring charges. Republic Airline apologized for the incident.

A traveler on a Detroit-bound flight from Indianapolis was restrained by her fellow passengers after she attempted to open the door of the plane in mid-air, The Detroit News reports. The incident occurred on Monday night, just shortly after the plane’s departure from Indianapolis.

The Detroit Free Press states that the woman was arrested after the plane landed at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). The incident occurred onboard Republic Airline Flight 5972, which was being operated on behalf of Delta.

Speaking to the latter outlet via an e-mailed statement, Erica Donerson, a spokesperson for the airport, said, “As of now, it appears she did not have any criminal intent, and instead may be suffering from a medical issue. However, this is based on preliminary reports.”

However, Donerson also confirmed that this incident is being investigated by the FBI.

“After conducting an assessment of the incident and in consultation with the United States Attorney’s Office, it was determined no further investigation was warranted and no federal charges would be filed against the passenger,” the bureau said in a statement.

Jon Austin, a spokesperson for Republic Airline, commented for the carrier in a statement via e-mail, saying, “We’re aware of an incident which occurred on our Flight 5972 on Monday evening. While we can confirm that the flight landed without incident and ahead of schedule, we’re unable to further comment as this matter is still being investigated. We apologize to any passengers who were affected by this incident.”

[Image Source: Wikimedia]

View Comments (9)


  1. Boggie Dog

    March 21, 2019 at 6:25 am

    If the aircraft is pressurized there is no chance of the door opening. Deal with the person, restrain if necessary, and carry on.

  2. Science Goy

    March 21, 2019 at 7:15 am

    What would I do? Since it is physically impossible for a person to open the emergency exit at altitude, I’d probably just watch with a bemused expression on my face.

  3. seigex

    March 21, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Unless they can also figure out a way to depressurize the cabin, they ain’t getting anywhere trying to open the door mid-flight.

  4. glob99

    March 21, 2019 at 8:32 am

    … but the article said she tried to open the exit just after takeoff. So no pressurization of the aircraft below 8000 ft.

  5. Flight44

    March 21, 2019 at 9:57 am

    As stated, difficult to open the door if cabin has been pressurized. However, person still deserves a severe beating.

  6. stmaus

    March 21, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    What glob99 said. It was just after takeoff, so perhaps it would be possible for a passenger to open a door at this early stage.

  7. flyshooter

    March 22, 2019 at 5:41 am

    Choke her out and let her sleep.

  8. Science Goy

    March 22, 2019 at 7:28 am

    The cabin is pressurized throughout the flight, not just above 8000 feet.

  9. mvoight

    March 22, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    If there is a large pressure difference, than they won’t be able to open it.
    If there isn’t then opening the door isn’t going to cause anyone to get sucked out of the plane.
    So, I would stay seated, as that is the safest place to be

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