2 passengers arrested after threatening to open jet's doors on delayed flight

Image: Aeromexico plane diverted to Oakland
An Aeromexico plane headed for San Francisco International Airport from Guadalajara was diverted due to fog to Oakland International Airport Thursday afternoon, officials said. Copyright NBC News
By Doha Madani with NBC News U.S. News
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

After a diverted Aeromexico flight sat on a tarmac for at least three hours, two passengers "became unruly" and law enforcement was called.


Two airline passengers were arrested Thursday for threatening to open a jet's doors after their flight was delayed for hours at the Oakland International Airport.

An Aeromexico flight from Guadalajara that was bound for San Francisco was diverted to Oakland on Thursday at about 10:30 a.m. local time (1:30 p.m. ET) and sat on a tarmac for at least three hours, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office told NBC News.

"Two passengers wanting to exit the aircraft became unruly, at which time the pilot contacted law enforcement," the Oakland airport said in a statement.

Passengers were not offered food or water during the delay, according to a report from NBC-affiliate KNTV.

Aeromexico, which is based in Mexico City, could not immediately be reached for comment.

"By that point passengers became fed up with waiting," sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly told NBC News. "There were several passengers who started to voice their frustration."

One man in particular threatened to open the plane door and activate emergency exit equipment, Kelly said. The sheriff's office will turn over the two arrested passengers to the FBI for allegedly interfering with a flight crew, Kelly said.

One female passenger who complained of respiratory issues was taken to a local hospital, authorities said.

The jet was diverted to Oakland as a result of heavy fog conditions, and the pilot waited at the Oakland airport for clearance to continue the flight to San Francisco, Kelly said.

After the arrests, the jet taxied to a gate and passengers were taken through to customs, the airport said.

"Decisions about awaiting clearance to land at the original destination airport or deplaning at the diversion airport are at the discretion of the airline," the airport's statement said.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced in 2017 expanded protections for passengers by limiting tarmac delays to four hours for international flights of U.S. and foreign airlines, according apress release.

"Carriers must also ensure that passengers stuck on the tarmac are provided adequate food and water after two hours, as well as working lavatories and any necessary medical treatment," the release said.

The Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger dies at 100

WATCH: Brookfield Zoo treats lemurs to a special Thanksgiving feast

Watch: Thanksgiving turkeys prep for White House pardon