After being kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight, a passenger acting erratically tried to get back on board by running onto the aircraft before being tackled by a crewmember.
Chicago-bound Flight 3630 was scheduled to depart from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
According to CBS Chicago, passengers on the flight said that after boarding for the first time, the man locked himself in the restroom and refused to get out. Eventually, crew members were able to get the man to leave the plane bathroom and he was kicked off the flight.
“He was already boarded, and he went into the bathroom, and they just told us they were trying to get him out of the bathroom, and they took him off the plane,” Rick Alonzo told CBS Chicago. “Next thing you know, he tried to fight his way back on, and that’s when the Southwest guys came and got him.”
But apparently the passenger, whom Southwest Airlines later said appeared to be intoxicated, wouldn’t take no for an answer.
The man made another attempt to get back onboard, and reportedly ran back onto the plane while screaming. As seen in cell phone footage captured by a fellow passenger, a Southwest employee was able to subdue the man by zip-tying him to a seat while crew waited for police to deal with the situation.
Eventually, three Las Vegas police officers arrived and removed the disruptive passenger from the aircraft.
“He was violently getting back on the plane, like pushing people, so one of the guards tackled him in front of my feet,” passenger Molly O’Malley recalled. “He was acting very inappropriate.”
Southwest Airlines issued the following statement to CBS Chicago:
“A Southwest Passenger who appeared to be intoxicated was asked to deplane flight 3630 before departing Las Vegas McCarran International Airport for Chicago Midway Airport. The Passenger became unruly and our Employees utilized their training to manage the situation until local law enforcement could assist with removing the passenger from the flight.
Southwest Airlines has robust training programs and procedures to ensure Employees are cognizant of both the regulatory requirements and Safety concerns surrounding unruly passengers. Our Employees are trained to deny boarding to Passengers who appear to be intoxicated, as well as to address Passengers who become unruly and/or create a disturbance in flight. Our number one priority is the Safety and Security of our Customers and Employees.”
Despite the pre-flight scuffle, flight 3630 arrived at Chicago’s Midway Airport just an hour behind schedule at 2 a.m. local time.