This isn't the first time a passenger has tried to escape a plane using the emergency exit.

Advertisement

A 33-year-old man was arrested in Miami after he allegedly opened the door of a plane and jumped onto the wing as it arrived at the gate, police said Thursday.

The American Airlines flight from Cali, Colombia, had just landed at Miami International Airport on Wednesday evening and taxied to the gate when the man was accused of opening the emergency door and walking out onto the wing, jumping down into a restricted area, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department and the airline.

The man then asked for help before he was detained by a Customs and Border Protection agent and eventually arrested.

After being detained, police said the man wasn't feeling well and was transported to an area hospital where he allegedly tried — unsuccessfully — to escape. The man was suffering from high blood pressure, WPLG Local 10 News reported.

He was charged with violating a designated operational area of an airport, battery of a police officer, escape, and resisting an officer with violence to his person, according to police.

American airlines plane
Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"During deplaning in Miami, a customer on American Airlines flight 920 with service from Cali, Colombia (CLO) to MIA exited the aircraft via an emergency exit," an American Airlines spokesperson told Travel + Leisure. "The customer was immediately detained by law enforcement. We thank our team members and law enforcement for their professionalism and quick action."

This isn't the first time a passenger has tried to escape a plane using the emergency exit. Last year, a man, woman, and a dog deployed the emergency slide and escaped as a Delta Air Lines flight was preparing to take off from New York City's LaGuardia Airport.

In 2019, a woman on a flight from the Chinese city of Wuhan opened the emergency exit door because she needed a "breath of fresh air." And that same year, a passenger on an easyJet flight from London to Pisa had to be subdued after he tried to open an emergency exit while the plane was mid-flight (luckily, pressure makes it virtually impossible to open the cabin door while the plane is at cruising altitude).

Beyond trying to escape, several novice flyers have mistaken the emergency exit for the bathroom like in 2019 when a passenger mixed up the exit door with the lavatory on a Pakistan International Airlines flight while it was on the runway in Manchester, England, causing the chute to activate and delaying the flight for eight hours.

A similar mistake was made in 2018 when a first-time flyer tried to open the door mid-flight on a GoAir flight from New Delhi (again, an impossible feat), and in 2016 when another first-time flyer accidentally deployed the emergency slide on a China Southern Airlines flight after confusing the bathroom and exit doors.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.