American Airlines Passenger Storms Cockpit, Damages Controls

A passenger stormed into the cockpit of an American Airlines jet at an airport in Honduras and damaged the plane as it was boarding for a flight to Miami, the airline said on Tuesday.

Crew members intervened and the man was taken into custody by law enforcement, American Airlines said in a statement to Newsweek.

According to ABC News, the suspect charged down the jetway and into the cockpit, damaging flight controls and attempting to jump out an open window as a pilot tried to stop him. The man was not identified.

A video posted on social media by someone who appeared to have been at the airport captured the passenger as he was apparently trying to get out through the cockpit window.

"We applaud our outstanding crew members for their professionalism in handling a difficult situation," the airline said in its statement.

The damaged aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 that was carrying 121 passengers and six crew members, was grounded at Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula.

The flight had originally been scheduled to take off just before 3 p.m. local time.

In its statement, American said that a replacement aircraft was sent to Honduras and the flight was scheduled to depart for Miami at 9:30 p.m.

According to the airline's website, the flight departed even later at 10:45 p.m. and landed in Miami just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday.

It came as airlines continued to cancel thousands of flights in recent days, continuing turmoil that began before Christmas as cases of Omicron surged and impacted travel.

More than 5,000 flights were canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to FlightAware, a data tracking service.

In December, a flight from the U.K. was delayed for hours when the pilot announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 while in the cockpit.

The British Airways flight had been boarded and was ready to take off for Barbados, but passengers were left waiting without updates for two hours until the pilot made the announcement that he had tested positive.

"What we're currently doing in looking for another pilot to take my place and that process is ongoing, but it's not going to happen quickly and at the moment we have got people in the process of trying to find someone," the pilot can be heard saying in a video that a passenger posted on TikTok which went viral.

Update on 1/12/22 at 3:15 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with additional information.

American Airlines jet
An American Airlines 737-800 aircraft sits at a gate at O'Hare Airport on January 29, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images