SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – A 19-year-old Korean man has attempted to open a plane door mid-flight, prompting concerns over what is quickly becoming travel’s most terrifying trend. The incident occurred on a red-eye flight from Cebu in the Philippines to Seoul, South Korea, and the man’s erratic behaviour has sparked a subsequent investigation by airport police.
Flying can be full of unexpected incidents. From a man urinating all over business class to a disgusting sock-stuffed seat, from a woman being publicly weighed in the airport to a hostess being beaten with an in-flight phone, the possibilities are endless. This week, however, a Korean passenger may have set a new var after trying to open a plane door mid-flight, in the latest installation of a trend that seems to be spreading like wildfire.
Approximately one hour into an overnight flight from Cebu to Seoul, the young man made a sudden dash towards the emergency door, attempting to open it despite being over 30,000 feet in the air. However, vigilant crew members acted swiftly, employing a makeshift lasso and cable ties to subdue him for the remainder of the flight. The plane survived undamaged, as did the 180 passengers onboard who were unharmed, if understandably terrified, by the incident.
Following the man’s abnormal and potentially dangerous conduct during the flight, authorities administered a consensual drug test which confirmed that the man was under the influence of multiple substances, providing a possible if partial explanation for his behaviour. Yikes.
WATCH: Earlier this week, a late passenger leapt from the jet bridge in an effort to make his flight.
Though the drugs in question are yet to be disclosed to the public, the man spoke incoherently to media during a hearing for his arrest, further fuelling the theory that they may have played a part in the incident.
The man had apparently been acting erratically from the very beginning of the Jeju Airline flight, prompting staff to move him to the very front of the plane by the exit door so that he could be closely monitored by staff. However, this may have been a decision they later came to regret, when the man began to complain of chest pains before leaping out of his seat and making for the plane door.
On landing at Seoul’s Incheon Airport, the passenger was handed over to the authorities and subsequently charged with violating the Aviation Security Act. It’s like Nutgate all over again…
This incident follows a worryingly similar event that took place only last month on another Korean carrier: a man in his thirties managed to fully open an aircraft’s emergency door moments before landing at Daegu, resulting in a rush of wind throughout the cabin and a plane full of terrified Asiana Airlines passengers. When asked for his motivations, the man simply said that he “wanted to get off quickly”.
In a world where increasingly bizarre incidents seem to be taking flight on a regular basis, it’s safe to say that opening a door mid-flight is definitely not the ‘exit strategy’ we had in mind…