An American Airlines flight attendant reportedly disrupted a flight Friday morning as it was about to take off from Dallas Fort/Worth en route to Chicago, saying over the aircraft intercom system that the plane was going to crash and ranting about the airline's bankruptcy reorganization.
The flight attendant was reportedly subdued by passengers until Dallas police arrived.
Two flight attendants were injured in the incident and were taken to the hospital. No passengers were injured and were never in danger, an airline spokeswoman said.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed there was an "altercation" involving American Airlines Flight 2332, which eventually landed at Chicago O'Hare at 11:46 a.m. "The plane taxied for departure and then returned to an airport gate and was met by the Dallas Police Department," an FAA spokesman said. "Dallas police advised the FAA that there had apparently been an altercation on the aircraft and as a result, the pilot requested to return."
The Dallas Morning News quoted someone claiming to be the sister of a passenger saying the flight attendant "came on the PA system ranting about AA bankruptcy and then telling them the plane was going to crash."
"She was addressing the captain, telling him not to take off, that it would not be her responsibility when the plane crashes and that it was going to crash. Then she was tackled by first-class passengers, who threw her against the wall."
An American Airlines spokeswoman confirmed "an incident occurred involving some of the cabin crew."
"The aircraft returned to the gate, where it was met by DFW Airport police. Two flight attendants were taken to local hospitals for treatment. We continue to investigate the details and circumstances and will have no further comment at this time," said spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan.
"We will ensure that the affected flight attendants receive proper care, and we commend our other crew members for their assistance in quickly getting the aircraft back to the gate so that customers could be re-accommodated. Our customers were not in danger at any time," Fagan said, adding that the cabin crew was replaced. "We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers, and we appreciate their patience and understanding."
The Transportation Security Administration also said it was aware of the incident but referred questions to American Airlines and local police.
The flight was originally scheduled to take off from Dallas at 8:25 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 9:46 a.m. But the flight didn't leave until 10:40 a.m. and arrived at 11:46 a.m., according to the American Airlines website.
The incident somewhat similar to a famous flight attendant freak-out in August 2010, when JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater used the plane's intercom system to curse out an unruly passenger. Then he grabbed a two beers from the beverage cart and deployed an inflatable emergency escape slide on the runway of New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. He jumped onto the slide, only to be arrested shortly after.
American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on Nov. 29 but has continued flying, as many airlines have during their reorganizations.
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