Amid tight security, drunk passenger detained after flight to Boston

A drunk passenger was stopped by other passengers when she tried to open an exit door on a British Airways flight to Boston, amid heightened fears about airport security.

(Jack Plunkett/AP Images for British Airways)
British Airways inaugural nonstop flight from London, England to Austin, Texas operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, arrives at Austin Bergstrom International Airport on March 3, 2014. A drunk passenger was detained after a flight from London to Boston on Nov. 17, 2015.

Two US flights were delayed and passengers taken into custody Tuesday because of false alarms amid heightened airline security.

Passengers on a British Airways flight from London to Boston sprang into action Tuesday when a passenger tried to open an aircraft door.

The female passenger, whom police said was probably intoxicated, tried to open an exit door during a flight from London to Boston. Unsure of her intentions, several other people on the plane restrained her. Once the plane landed, she was taken into custody by Massachusetts State Troopers. 

The aircraft parked at Boston Logan International Airport, and the FBI responded, but they quickly realized she posed no particular threat.

Massachusetts State Police have not found any evidence of terrorism, after interviewing the woman and witnesses. 

The police tweeted that the investigation includes interviews with the passenger, flight attendants, and other witnesses, and she will probably face charges of interfering with the flight crew. In a statement, British Airways called the passenger "unruly."

With terrorist attacks in Paris occurring less than a week ago and the announcement by Russian officials that a plane downed in Egypt last month was an act of terrorism, flights are being delayed for lesser offenses than this.

A flight from Baltimore to Chicago Tuesday morning was delayed for three hours over another security alert. A passenger who watched a news video on his phone that another passenger thought was related to the Islamic State group, Jessica Anderson reported for the Baltimore Sun.

Another passenger traveling with him took her child to the restroom during preparations for takeoff, and a passenger near them panicked, Grace Wong reported for the Chicago Tribune.

The plane returned to the gate, and four passengers who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent were removed from the plane for questioning, though they were released later that day.

No one has condemned the nervous passengers or cautious flight crew, and some say that TSA airport security should tighten up in the current environment, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

“I’m not going to discredit the captain," Sgt. Jonathan Green from the Maryland Transportation Authority told the Chicago Tribune. "He had the information there at the time and he made a decision based on the information.”

This report includes material from Reuters.

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