American Airlines duct tapes 13-year-old autistic boy on flight from Maui to Los Angeles

Screenshot from video below


Ann Gehan

The Dallas Morning News

American Airlines restrained a 13-year-old boy on a recent flight between Maui and Los Angeles after the boy tried to kick out a window near his seat during the flight.

The incident, which was first reported Tuesday by CBSN Los Angeles, led to the flight’s diversion to Honolulu, where the boy was taken into custody.

A video posted by CBSN shows passengers and a flight attendant restraining the boy in his seat.

According to DailyMail, the 13-year-old boy had Autism and had a medical meltdown midflight and couldn’t be consoled.

Witnesses told the CBS station that the boy became physical with his mother about an hour into the flight. According to flight records, American Airlines flight 212 departed from Maui at 12:30 p.m. local time Tuesday before turning around and returning to Hawaii, landing in Honolulu at 3:47 p.m.

The Fort Worth-based airline said the flight was diverted “due to an incident with a passenger on board.”

“After landing at HNL at 3:47 p.m. (local time), customers were re-accommodated on other flights or provided hotel accommodations. Safety and security is our top priority and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this caused,” the airline said in an emailed statement.

The incident is the third of its kind involving restrained passengers in little more than a month as summer travel brings record numbers of travelers back to the skies. On July 31, a 22-year-old man was taped to his seat on a Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Miami after allegedly groping two female flight attendants and assaulting another.

A TikTok video showing a woman screaming at other passengers went viral last month after she was restrained with duct tape on a July 6 American Airlines flight from Dallas to Charlotte, N.C. American Airlines said the woman was restrained after attempting to open the plane’s forward boarding door during the flight and assaulting and biting a flight attendant.

As of Aug. 8, the Federal Aviation Administration had recorded 3,810 reports of unruly passengers, with most of the incidents related to the mask requirement for air travelers. A survey of nearly 5,000 flight attendants last month found that nearly 1 in 6 flight attendants had a physical altercation with an unruly passenger this year.

The survey, conducted by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents flight attendants at United Airlines and Envoy, American Airlines’ regional carrier, also found that more than 85% of flight attendants had encounters with unruly passengers.

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