A month ago, a passenger on board a flight from Toronto to Los Angeles had a minor medical emergency, which required doctors to examine him. He was put under observation in a hospital in Los Angeles. Then he had to fly to Toronto, where he was met by a doctor and had to go home to Canada. When he reached his destination, he was immediately taken into an ambulance and rushed to a hospital, where he was moved to a room and put under observation. He was kept there for a couple of days.

Things got a little hairy on a transatlantic flight from London to New York last week when flight crew had to order a passenger to keep her hands on her head for over an hour. The flight was grounded for over three hours after flight crew noticed some unusual activity. This state of apparent panic wasn’t a one-time thing either. In fact, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a “safety alert” to airlines and pilots about this issue, noting that a number of incidents have been reported in the last few years.

What happened on the flight where passengers had to keep their hands on their head for 60 minutes

Gary Leff 15. July 2021

A week ago, I wrote about American Airlines flight 2289 from Los Angeles, where passengers were forced to keep their hands on their heads for the last hour of the flight to Miami, and when they were allowed to leave the plane, they were all detained in the terminal.

The arrest took place as flight 2289 landed in Miami (the flight landed at 4:42 am ET). Passengers were asked to keep their hands on their heads for 45 to 60 minutes before boarding. Strangely, passengers were repeatedly asked not to take photos on the plane pic.twitter.com/rxInzwRi4a

– Chris Nguyen (@imaNguyener) 8. July 2021

This is the MIA terminal where passengers had to wait after getting off the plane pic.twitter.com/EKlMuaHQzq

– Chris Nguyen (@imaNguyener) 8. July 2021

We now know what happened on the plane, but first I want to talk about the reaction of many of you to the incident and my reaction to the fact that this was just another American Airlines flight to Miami.

  • I don’t think they need to give a reason. Too much information in the public domain helps terrorists.
  • Don’t tell the public. If you tell the public, you also tell the terrorists and other bad people.
  • Do you really think American Airlines is doing this for fun? You don’t think protocol was followed and that it was urgent to do so? …what happened happened, happened for a reason…..
  • Logic should tell you that if the plane was stopped remotely on the tarmac and people were bused to the terminal, they probably suspected there was a bomb on board. If they suspected a bomb on board, that also confirms why they wanted everyone to keep their hands in sight and why they didn’t want people using their phones, since a phone can also be used to detonate an explosive.

So what really happened?

  • During the flight, one of the passengers stated that there was a security risk. He reported a gas leak on board the aircraft. He accused one of his seatmates of hiding bomb parts in her socks. He accused the flight attendant of carrying the components of an improvised explosive device on her back and trying to take her bag away.
  • There were two air marshals on board who investigated the passenger’s statements. There was no merit in it.
  • The passenger began to behave inappropriately and walked to the front of the plane. The air marshals stopped him.

After it was determined that the threat was a hoax and the disturbed passenger was taken into custody, the other passengers had to keep their hands behind their heads for nearly an hour. They couldn’t put their hands down because the captain didn’t say “Simon Says. All were detained in the terminal while the plane was searched upon arrival. Nothing was found.

Lake View from the Wing


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