Man Branded ‘Hero’ For Opening Plane Door After Flyers Denied Air & Water

In a delay that quickly escalated, Mexico City International Airport saw the hero in question open an emergency exit and step onto the wing.

Man Branded ‘Hero’ For Opening Plane Door After Flyers Denied Air & Water

Image: ABC

Usually when a travel headline like this lands on our desk here at DMARGE, it’s in the context of some major mid-air misdemeanour — like passengers getting kicked out of their first-class seats for ‘terrible’ reasons or threatening cabin crew over food choice — but few see the protagonist of said story emerging as a “hero”.

And yet, that’s precisely what happened after a passenger aboard an AeroMexico flight was dubbed a hero by his fellow travellers. In a delay that quickly escalated to a quasi-mutiny last week, Mexico City International Airport saw the hero in question open an emergency exit and step onto the wing of the plane, which was parked on the tarmac with no signs of pushing back…

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The airport confirmed in a statement that the man was swiftly handed over to police for his actions which, heroic as they may have been, broke a number of airport safety laws as well as airline rules & regulations.

The important (and much-debated) detail at the heart of this story is that the airline had apparently kept passengers waiting for 4 torturous hours without proper ventilation or water during the delay. Photos of a written statement made by the other passengers and later posted online have praised the man’s actions as a protective measure that was supported unanimously by those on board.

“The delay and lack of air created conditions that endangered the health of the passengers. He saved our lives.”

Passenger Statement

The airport’s statement explained, in far less reverent terms, that the Guatemala-bound passenger had opened the emergency door while the aircraft was stationary, causing no harm to any cabin crew, ground crew, or fellow passengers. It also detailed the timings and reasons for the delay:

“Around 11:37 a.m., a Mexican airline reported the beginning of a disturbance due to passenger discontent on flight AM672… The flight had been due to lift off at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, but because of a maintenance alert on the plane, the captain had to return to the gate for the required maintenance.”

Airport Statement

The identity of the man remains undisclosed by airport authorities, who have also refrained from commenting on his current legal status. The airline has also declined to comment further at time of writing.

Image: Travel Daily

This is one of those stories that hinges on hearsay and, undoubtedly, is all the juicer for it. While I find the idea that airline staff would have denied passengers water to be absolutely baffling, I also find it believable.

It’s the kind of thing that I can imagine cabin crew are discouraged from doing for one reason or another — most likely that they would run out of water by the end of the flight if it was all given out prior to takeoff, effectively delaying rather than solving a problem.

If I were denied water for 4 hours, I’d be fuming too. Would I go for the emergency exit… I don’t know. The claim about lack of air I find to be a little less believable, but can imagine frustrated passengers latching onto this idea as emotions rose in the cabin.

Either way, it’s an unfortunate turn of events and I’m sorry to see a man arrested over it… even if he has earned legend status in the process.