Recently a Sun Country Airlines passenger caused quite a stir when they opened the emergency exit door and left the plane upon its arrival at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The aircraft had been travelling from Orlando, Florida and had just reached the Terminal 2 gate around 11 p.m., according to FlightAware. It was determined that the passenger, a 44-year-old man from New Brighton, Minnesota, had jumped out of the plane onto the airfield as other passengers were exiting.
The Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission reported that MSP Airport Police were waiting for the man when the plane landed, as he had a restraining order and outstanding warrants from Wright County.
Furthermore, the man had a previous criminal record: he had been charged with felony domestic assault in Ramsey County in June when he allegedly poured diesel fuel on the mother of his children and assaulted her.
The individual was arrested around 11:40 p.m., about 30 minutes after he left the plane. He was found inside an airline food service truck shortly thereafter. Sun Country Airlines issued a statement saying that “fortunately, passengers and crew are fine.”
Jason Wallis, the president of the Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network, noted a concerning trend of security incidents taking place on airplanes. Data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that there were nearly 6,000 cases of unruly behavior on airplanes nationwide in 2021, a new record, and although the number dropped to 2,400 in 2022, 890 cases have already been reported this year.
Wallis believes that the numbers are still higher than pre-pandemic levels, but is optimistic that the situation is improving. According to the FAA, the chances of encountering unlawful and unruly behavior on an airplane are still low, with approximately 1.6 incidents for every 10,000 flights.