Panicked Passenger Said He Got on Wrong Plane, Opened the Emergency Exit and Jumped Down the Slide
A United Airlines flight from New Jersey was delayed Sunday night due to a passenger who claimed he got on the wrong plane. The passenger’s panicked state led him to open the emergency doors and exit down the inflatable slide.
Flight 1640, scheduled to go to Tampa, Florida, was still parked at the gate at Newark Liberty International Airport, when passenger Troy Fattun began shouting he was on the wrong flight, NBC News reported.
It’s very rare for passengers to actually board flights that they haven’t booked. Buck Rodger, a commercial airline pilot and president of Aero Consulting Experts, told CNN (after a flight debacle involving Chrissy Teigen’s flight to Tokyo) that it takes a “perfect storm” of errors for someone to board the wrong plane, but it’s not impossible.
“It is rare. There are a lot of checks and balances in place to prevent it from happening. But it can happen,” Rodger told CNN.
Police were called to the scene after the passenger slid down the emergency chute on Sunday. Despite Fattun’s claims that he was on the wrong flight, Port Authority reported that the man was actually ticketed to go to Tampa.
“While Flight 1640 was parked at the gate at Newark Liberty International Airport, a passenger opened the emergency exit door and departed the aircraft using the slide,” United Airlines spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin said.
Fattun was placed under arrest but charges are still pending. The flight was delayed for more than five hours, according to Flightaware.com.