Tense episodes on airplanes occur ahead of busy holiday travel season

One incident occurred in Chicago and the other occurred en route to Tampa.

Updated: November 13, 2022 - 1:40pm

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Two tense episodes on airplanes, including one that resulted in a flight attendant being hospitalized, took place over the weekend ahead of what is expected to be a busy thanksgiving travel season.

The most recent incident occurred Sunday morning during a flight from San Francisco to Chicago.

"A disruptive customer on a flight from San Francisco to Chicago was removed by law enforcement upon landing on Sunday, and one member of the flight attendant crew was taken to a hospital for evaluation," United Airlines said, Fox News reported. 

A passenger tweeted a video of the incident, which shows several flight attendants asking a woman to "step back" as the plane landed.

Chicago Police officers responded to O'Hare International Airport after being called for a "disturbance" on the United flight. Three people were taken to a hospital for observation, officials said.

The earlier incident occurred Friday when a Frontier Airlines flight bound for Tampa was diverted to Atlanta after a man with a box cutter allegedly threatened to stab another passenger.

The incident occurred about an hour into the flight from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Federal authorities in Atlanta now have the man in custody, local Ohio outlet WLWT 5 reported.

"When he went to go to the bathroom the passenger in the window seat looked at me [and] said, 'Hey he has a knife and he told me he was threatening to stab people we need to say something to somebody,'" passenger Lillian Hoffman recalled. "So I went up and talked to the flight attendants in the front of the airplane and let them know like this guy has a box knife and he's been telling us he wants to stab people."

Officials have not named the suspect, but a Frontier spokesperson said: "No injuries to passengers or crew have been reported. The aircraft landed safely in Atlanta and the passenger in question was taken into custody by Atlanta Law Enforcement."

Police reportedly discovered a second box cutter in the suspect's carry-on, authorities said.

The plane landed in Atlanta around 9 p.m., local time, and passengers were placed in a hotel overnight before later continuing to Tampa, officials said. 

Travel is expected to be up 6% in capacity from 2019 with 25 million Americans flying the week of Thanksgiving, according to travel website Hopper.

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