New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL-TV reports the incident happened on Sunday, November 26, 2023, in the early evening.
Unclear What Caused Flyer’s Episode Aboard Flight
According to authorities, the incident took place around 7:45 p.m. as a Southwest Airlines flight was preparing to depart Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). Before the aircraft could push back from the gate, witnesses say the flyer opened one of the emergency exits over a window.
Once opened, the traveler then jumped off the aircraft and attempted to leave the airport using a service vehicle. The flyer was stopped by authorities before he could escape the premises.
The flyer is only being described as a 38-year-old man who may be from Atlanta. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies say the flyer was “incoherent and not fully aware of his surroundings.” The case has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In a statement, Southwest apologized to customers for the inconvenience of cancelling the flight, while praising their staff for their actions.
Reports say the flyer was not arrested, but rather was hospitalized and remains in care for continued evaluation.