American Airlines pilot threatens to divert plane full of maskless Trump supporters chanting ‘USA’ and ‘dump’ them in Kansas during wild flight from DC to Phoenix
- Trump supporters boarded American Airlines flight 1242 on Friday afternoon
- Flight took off from Reagan National in Washington, DC, for Phoenix Sky Harbor
- During flight, some of the passengers started chanting ‘USA! USA! USA!’
- Video shows pilot tell passengers that he would divert plane to Kansas
- ‘We will do that if that’s what it takes, so behave, please,’ pilot is heard saying
- American Airlines said some of the passengers refused to wear face coverings
- Flight departed on time, landed in Phoenix ahead of schedule without incident
An American Airlines pilot threatened to divert his plane and dump a group of pro-Trump passengers in Kansas if they didn’t ‘behave’ during their flight from Washington, DC, to Phoenix on Friday.
The incident took place on American Flight 1242 which departed Friday afternoon from Reagan National Airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor.
Video posted to Twitter shows the passengers in the cabin chanting ‘USA! USA!’
At one point, the pilot becomes fed up and tells the passengers on the loudspeaker: ‘This is the way it’s gonna be… it’s a four and a half hour flight to Phoenix.
‘We’ll put this plane down in the middle of Kansas and dump people off – I don’t care.
An American Airlines pilot threatened to divert his plane and dump a group of pro-Trump passengers in Kansas if they didn’t ‘behave’ during their flight from Washington, DC, to Phoenix on Friday
Video posted to Twitter shows the passengers in the cabin chanting ‘USA! USA!’ At one point, the pilot becomes fed up and tells the passengers on the loudspeaker: ‘This is the way it’s gonna be… it’s a four and a half hour flight to Phoenix. ‘We’ll put this plane down in the middle of Kansas and dump people off – I don’t care’
Mindy Robinson, one of the passengers, wrote: ‘Wow. I’m on a plane full of patriots flying from DC to Phoenix and we started chanting “USA” …and the Captain came on said told us he’d drop us off in Kansas if he had to if we didn’t obey their every single rule. American Airlines is everything but American.’
‘We will do that if that’s what it takes, so behave, please.’
The airline told DailyMail.com that passengers had refused requests by airline staff to wear face coverings.
Mindy Robinson, one of the passengers, wrote: ‘Wow. I’m on a plane full of patriots flying from DC to Phoenix and we started chanting “USA” …and the Captain came on said told us he’d drop us off in Kansas if he had to if we didn’t obey their every single rule.
‘American Airlines is everything but American.’
Flight data shows that the plane departed Reagan National Airport on time on Friday and landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor a few minutes ahead of schedule
A spokesperson for American Airlines told DailyMail.com that passengers had refused to comply with request to wear face coverings
A spokesperson for the airline told DailyMail.com: ‘At American, we take the safety of our customers seriously and we value the trust they place in our team to care for them throughout their journey.
‘Prior to departure from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), the pilot onboard flight 1242 made an announcement emphasizing the importance of following crew member instructions and complying with mandatory face-covering policies.’
The airline said that the flight departed Reagan National on schedule and landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor a few minutes earlier than anticipated.
There were also ‘no in-flight issues reported at this time,’ the airline said.
US airlines and law enforcement agencies have bolstered security at the two big Washington-area airports as supporters of President Trump return home following Wednesday’s riots at the US Capitol.
The beefed-up security at Dulles International and Reagan National airports comes amid outrage at the mob of MAGA protesters who smashed their way into the seat of American democracy.
A Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman said passengers can expect to see an increased law enforcement presence as they travel through airports.
United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines said they were working closely with law enforcement agencies to keep people safe and would continue enforcing strict mask policies on flights.
United and American also increased staffing at the area’s airports and earlier this week moved their crews away from downtown DC hotels.
Southwest Airlines said it was monitoring events and expected customers to adhere to applicable laws, federal air regulations and crew member instructions while traveling.
A Trump supporter is seen above walking through a terminal at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Thursday
US domestic airlines said they are increasing security in the DC airports after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building on Wednesday
It came as the Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Bennie Thompson, demanded that any rioters who were identified as having entered the Capitol building be banned from future flights.
‘We already saw reports of “unruly mobs” in air on the way to Washington, DC,’ Thompson said in a statement.
‘It does not take much imagination to envision how they might act out on their way out of DC if allowed to fly unfettered.’
He urged the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to add the rioters to the federal no-fly list.
The ‘no-fly’ list is a database managed by the Terrorist Screening Center which contains the names of people who are not allowed to board commercial aircraft for travel within, into, or out of the United States.
The list was created in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania.
Civil libertarians have criticized the use of the list, saying that the names of those added were done without due process.
In October 2019, a federal appellate court upheld the largely secret criteria that the government uses for adding suspected terrorists to the list after four people filed suit.
American Airlines on Thursday announced that it will no longer serve alcohol on flights to and from the nation’s capital after flight attendants ‘were forced to confront passengers exhibiting politically motivated aggression towards other passengers and crew.’
‘We are working closely with local law enforcement and airport authority partners to ensure the safety of our customers and team members on the ground and in the air,’ the airline’s statement said, CNN reports.
Homeland Security police patrol at Washington’s Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, in this November 24, 2020, file photo. Security has been beefed up at the two major Washington, DC-area airports
No specific incident was highlighted by the American Airlines as having been the reason for the move.
Some flight attendants have expressed concern that protesters would spread COVID-19.
The TSA, which has authority over US travel security, said late Wednesday it had multiple layers of security in place without providing details.
Trump supporters on Wednesday stormed the barricades surrounding the US Capitol campus and entered the congressional building, sending frightened members of Congress to underground bunkers.
Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher. Three others suffered medical emergencies during the riots and one Trump supporters was fatally shot while trying to break into the House Chamber.
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