Southwest Flight To Houston Diverted For ‘Disruptive’ Passenger

A Southwest Airlines flight en route from Los Angeles to Houston had to make an emergency landing at Corpus Christi International Airport in Texas due to a disruptive passenger who witnesses on board the plane say was trying to open the emergency exit.

The plane, Southwest 4519, departed Los Angeles at around 8:10 a.m. local time and was due to arrive in Houston at 1:35 p.m. local time. Online tracking information shows that the plane is roughly two-and-a-half hours late and will now arrive in Houston at around 4 p.m. central time.

A passenger on the plane told Patch that the woman was showing strange behavior at Los Angeles International Airport but was allowed to board the plane.

“It was weird,” 29-year-old Terrance Franklin said of the passenger’s behavior.

Franklin, who was headed home to Houston from Los Angeles, said the woman had an “episode” about an hour into the flight. At this point, Franklin said the woman tried to open the emergency exit, forcing the plane to land in Corpus Christi.

Kristy Gillentine, another passenger on board the plane, posted a video that showed the woman being escorted off the flight.

Gillentine later tweeted she was very concerned that the woman was allowed to board the flight. In response to her tweet, Southwest tweeted that the airline was working to comply with directives.

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In a statement emailed to Patch, Southwest said the captain of the flight elected to divert the flight due to a potential threat in the cabin.

“Following an uneventful landing, local authorities met the aircraft at a gate and removed the disruptive passenger,” the statement said. “The Safe operation of every flight is our highest priority and we expect the aircraft to depart shortly to complete the journey to Houston.”

Patch will update this report as more information is learned.

Image via Pixabay

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Originally published June 25, 2017.