A video of an unruly passenger being restrained by duct tape has been obtained and published by US news channel CBSN Los Angeles. The clip shows a 13-year-old boy being duct taped to his seat on an American Airlines flight from Maui, Hawaii to Los Angeles.
According to witnesses who spoke to the news station, about an hour into the flight the boy became physical toward his mother and attempted to kick out a window on the plane. In the video, an airline staff member approaches the boy with duct tape whilst two to three passengers appear to be restraining him. The flight was scheduled to land in Los Angeles but was instead diverted to Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital. CBSN Los Angeles reported that the boy was taken into custody there but that that no one was injured during the incident.
An American Airlines representative said that the flight was diverted “due to an incident with a passenger on board” and that “Customers were reaccommodated on other flights or provided hotel accommodations.” They assured that “Safety and security is our top priority, and we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this caused.”
The use of duct tape to restrain unruly passengers is common practice among airline staff, however it seems that they are having to resort to the measure more than in the past. Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration reported that it had investigated more than 600 reports of unruly passenger behaviour in 2021, nearly double the number of incidents combined in 2019 and 2020.