The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an incident during which a passenger allegedly deployed an emergency exit slide and jumped down to the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday.
“A passenger on Delta Air Lines Flight 1714 opened a door of a Boeing 737 and jumped on the ramp after deploying an emergency exit slide while the aircraft was stationary at Los Angeles International Airport around 10:40 a.m. local time on Saturday, March 25. The flight was headed to Seattle. Please contact the airline and local authorities for more information,” the agency said in a statement.
According to Delta, the aircraft returned to the gate and passengers eventually got to Seattle on another plane.
FlightAware tracking information shows the flight arrived in Seattle about 3 hours and 45 minutes late.
“We apologize for the inconvenience and delay in their travel plans,” a Delta spokesperson said. The airline also confirmed that the passenger who deployed the slide was initially detained by Delta staff before being arrested by local law enforcement.
What you’re entitled to if your flight is delayed
Obviously, it’s not every day that a passenger deploys the emergency exit slide on a flight, but many airlines offer varying levels of compensation if you arrive late to your destination.
The Department of Transportation has a dashboard outlining most major airlines’ policies, and the Biden administration is pushing to make airlines more accountable in the event of delays.
Passengers from Delta Flight 1714 may not be able to claim compensation, however, because emergency slide deployment may not fall under the category of “controllable delays.”
Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org