Crazy stories around airlines continue to fly out of the news as of late, but this one is a little different than the bunch. Recently, a passenger jumped out of an American Airlines plane as it was moving on the tarmac and set to fly. Tun Lon Sein was arrested due to the incident, which occurred at a North Carolina airport.
It is being reported that Sein was seated on his flight and then got up from his chair suddenly, tried to jimmy the plane’s door, before he was stopped by a crew member. The passenger then attempted to bite the flight attendant. After a struggle, Sein was successful in opening the aircraft’s door, leaping out, and then running off the tarmac before workers at the airport stopped him. According to reports, Sein was taken to a hospital nearby after the whole debacle.
As Sein’s first language is not English, officials aren’t sure of what caused the passenger to react in this fashion. While there was a court hearing scheduled, it has been delayed as the officials cannot find a Thai interpreter that speaks Karen, Sein’s language of choice and one that comes out of the south of Myanmar. He’s been charged with interfering with flight attendants and crew members on a commercial aircraft.
Still, it is believed that the passenger understood the safety advisories as Sein could see the seat belt signs that were illuminated. He had also entered the U.S. via Newark, N.J., needing to take two previous flights to reach the Charlotte, North Carolina airport where the incident took place.
MSN advised that American Airlines released a statement saying that the aircraft returned to the gate due to a security incident involving a passenger. Unfortunately, the plane landed late, about 90 minutes, to its destination, New Berns, N.C.
The silver lining in this all is, at least it isn’t another scandalous incident around overbooking and dragging passengers off a plane! Due to language barriers, this may just be an example of miscommunication.