Fighter Jets Scrambled After 'Disturbance' on American Flight

Sources say passenger tried to enter cockpit during flight out of Los Angeles
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2017 6:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – An American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu was escorted by two F-22 fighter jets Friday after a passenger tried to get into the cockpit, ABC News reports. American Airlines characterizes it as a "disturbance." A source at the TSA says a passenger with a laptop was waiting for the bathroom near the cockpit when a flight attendant told him to sit down. According to Bloomberg, the passenger set the laptop down next to the cockpit door. And Hawaii News Now reports he tried to open the cockpit door. The passenger was restrained by fellow fliers, including an off-duty Honolulu police officer.

Following the incident, the pilots descended to a lower altitude in case there was an explosion, and the fighter jets were scrambled to escort the flight. The plane landed safely in Honolulu, and the passenger was detained. News Now reports the man tried to get through a secure door at Los Angeles International Airport prior to the flight and was cited but not detained at the time. Law enforcement are investigating an unspecified suspicious item that was with the man, and the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring other flights "out of an abundance of caution." Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports United Airlines is claiming its planes are secure after the access codes for their cockpits were accidentally made public. (Read more American Airlines stories.)

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