A United flight was forced to turn around after a distressed passenger made a rush for the flight deck.
United 898 was scheduled to leave Houston at 9:43p on Saturday evening for a short flight to New Orleans, but the aircraft arrived late from Austin. The flight finally took off about an hour late.
25 minutes into the short fight, passengers reported hearing a woman began yelling and hitting her had against the fuselage (wall) of the plane. She reportedly yelled–
We are all protected and loved! We are all protected and loved! This plane is going to land beautifully and kindly!
Then she made a run for the cockpit. It allegedly took five men to hold her down. a FA provided zip-ties (pictured above) and her hands and legs were bound as the flight returned to Houston and was met by authorities.
One passenger, Julian Markowitz, shared the following story–
In an instant, she stands up, bolts to the aisle and started springing towards the cockpit. As soon as she started running, I stand up and ask the flight attendant, ‘Can I help you with this? Do you need help?’ She said go for it, so I gently pushed the flight attendant out of the way and started sprinting after the woman myself. It took five men to hold her down. It wasn’t easy. She was in a total psychotic state. She was very aggressive.
Here’s a report from a local news affiliate about the incident–
The flight would eventually take off again for New Orleans and arrive three hours late.
Markowitz offered one further comment that is quite poignant:
She was not of sound mind, but anyone who would have more malicious intent would have been subdued in a similar fashion. That reflects the vigilance that American travelers have in this era.
Indeed, I have far more faith in my fellow passengers onboard than any uniformed clerks on the ground.