This one is strange. I am a frequent flyer, and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to spend a moment longer than necessary in one of those tiny on-board bathrooms on a commercial airliner. They aren’t designed to be comfortable intentionally – to encourage passengers to spend as little time as possible – instead of taking a magazine to read half the flight preventing other passengers from having access.
So if 3 passengers lock themselves in, and refuse to come out – there’s a problem. a BIG problem. And with airplane food being confined to a bag of chips and a stale cookie anymore…
It wasn’t something they ate.
Two fighter jets escorted a New York-bound American Airlines flight from Los Angeles after three passengers locked themselves in the bathroom Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, officials said.
A law enforcement official said it wasn’t thought to be terrorism, and American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said, “In our eyes, it’s a big nothing.”
The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled two F-16 jets to shadow Flight 34 until it landed safely at New York’s Kennedy Airport at 4:10 p.m. Sunday, the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement.
The nature of the incident was unclear, but the passengers locked themselves in the bathroom and were still inside when the plane landed, the law enforcement official said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Law enforcement met the flight and will interview passengers, the TSA statement said. The FBI responded to the airport.
The jets intercepted the flight about 100 miles west of New York and shadowed it until it landed, said John Cornelio, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command. He described the measure as precautionary.
Smith said a “security concern” was brought to the airline’s attention but the plane’s captain never declared any sort of security threat and never requested law enforcement help.
He said the crew used “normal procedures” to assess the circumstances and the plane landed as planned.
New York has been in a heightened state of security after federal officials received a credible but uncorroborated tip of a car bomb plot on the anniversary in either New York or Washington.