'Unruly' Passenger Wanted to Get Off the Plane Badly

Cynthia McKnight facing charges after allegedly opening door, inflating slide at Buffalo airport
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2022 9:03 AM CDT
'Unruly' Passenger Opens Door, Goes for a Slide
An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet plane is parked at a maintenance facility in Tulsa, Okla., on Dec. 2, 2020.   (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

(Newser) – An unruly passenger escaped an American Airlines flight preparing to takeoff from Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Tuesday in a most dramatic fashion: down the emergency exit slide, according to reports. Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Spencer Brown, a passenger on the flight, tweeted about the woman's outburst, which resulted in multiple charges, per WIVB. "A lady is pissed," he wrote. "Lady pulls the emergency inflatable slide to escape the plane. Lady is running wild through the tarmac currently. Cops have arrived. Flight ruined. Memories made." Brown also tweeted a photo of the slide.

The woman was allegedly "spitting and screaming at other passengers" before she "unlocked & opened the cabin door, setting off the inflatable slide," according to a tweet from WIVB reporter Mel Orleans. Cynthia McKnight, a 24-year-old from Sacramento, Calif., is now facing charges including disorderly conduct, harassment, trespass, and criminal mischief "after exhibiting what’s being described as unruly behavior on board a flight," according to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. It did not say what led up to the outburst. The flight to Chicago was canceled, per WIVB. (Read more unruly passenger stories.)

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