A frustrated flyer who popped an exit door on an airplane at Mexico City International Airport and took a stroll down the jetliner’s wing was taken into custody by police, but his actions were defended by his fellow passengers.
The bizarre incident went down on Thursday when an AeroMexico flight to Guatemala was waiting for takeoff after an extended delay when the unnamed individual opened the emergency exit and disembarked from the plane, stood on the wing, and then returned to the cabin.
What at first glance may have appeared to be an act of misconduct or simply a panicked flyer freaking out, was an act of protest with the people who were stranded on the delayed flight being forced to wait for around four hours, practically suffocating without ventilation and suffering from a lack of water.
In a Friday statement, the airport said: “Yesterday a passenger on a flight to Guatemala opened an emergency door on a plane while it was stationary at a remote position, stood on a wing, and then re-entered the cabin, without affecting the aircraft or anyone else,” according to the Associated Press. “In line with international security regulations, this person turned himself over to the authorities.”
The outlet reported that “at least 77 passengers” who were also onboard the plan signed a statement penned on notebook paper, citing social media photos, in which they expressed support for the man’s dramatic actions.
“The delay and lack of air created conditions that endangered the health of the passengers. He saved our lives,” the statement reportedly read.
“Around 11:37 a.m., a Mexican airline reported the beginning of a disturbance due to passenger discontent on flight AM672,” an incident report filed with the airport seemed to offer confirmation for their account. “The flight had been due to lift off at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, but because of a maintenance alert on the plane, the captain had to return to the gate for the required maintenance.”
“The passengers were unhappy and one of them opened the emergency door and stepped out on the wing,” the report read, according to AP. “This event required the plane to be changed.”
The man also got support from social media users who posted their takes to X.
Good for him. The airline was wrong to hold the passengers prisoner for almost 5 hrs with water or ventilation.
— Kate F (@kefish) January 27, 2024
That’s one way to make a grand entrance! “Must have been a strong urge for some fresh air! Who hasn’t felt like escaping through an emergency exit at least once?” Taking a walk on the wild side! Living his best life
— Ali_Haider (@AliHaider929) January 27, 2024
Sometimes you just gotta catch some fresh air, right? ♂️
— Eric Pilos (@ChampEirik) January 27, 2024
nearly 5 hours without fresh air or water – people could have died. free this man.
— Drew (@youngpontifex) January 27, 2024
After an hour, it should be considered a hostage situation. https://t.co/hAlHMNioHT
— Lance McMillan (@lancedmcmillan) January 27, 2024
They left them to rot in that thing for 5 hours? I would have opened the door too.
— The CWB (@therealcwb) January 27, 2024
“Airport authorities did not identify the man, and they declined to comment on whether he remains in custody or faces charges,” the outlet reported.
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