Passengers noticed him before the plane even took off.
Then a "disheveled looking fellow" walked out, Donna Basden said. Long before passengers knew anything was wrong, he actually left his laptop in her assigned seat, and she gave it back to him. USA Today reports that Uskanil, a student from Turkey on a visa to study at an acting school in the US, tried to sit in first class with a laptop until a flight attendant checked his ticket and made him move back to economy.
The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Just think, the last time I flew from LAX to Honolulu, the most notable thing that happened was the large man in front of me who immediately reclined his seat all the way back, and then argued with the flight-attendant when he requested the man return his seat back to the upright position for takeoff. This time, passengers said, had a towel or blanket over his head.
A 25-year-old man was arrested Friday after he allegedly tried to break into the cockpit of an American Airlines plane from Los Angeles to Hawaii, officials said.
Eight hours before the flight takes off, Uskanil tried to open a gate that led to an airfield ramp.
Police say Uskanil had been drinking but didn't meet the criteria for public drunkenness.
Uskanil was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing in that incident, but was still allowed to board his flight to Honolulu.
As the suspect approached the drink cart at the rear of first class, the flight attendant in economy told him, "Sir, please stop".
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Instead, they said, he was stopped by a flight attendant who had jammed her serving cart in the doorway that separates first class from coach.
Uskanli was taken into custody after the plane, escorted by two fighter jets, landed in Honolulu.
"You're not coming in here", the crew member said.
However, passengers, with the help of other flights attendants, restrained the guy and duct-taped him until the end of the flight.
"He didn't really fight or anything", said Arakelian, a student at the University of Southern California.
"It was all kind of surreal", said Penny Lorenzen, a passenger on the flight told HNN.
Uskanil was a ticketed American Airlines passenger who had cleared TSA screening, according to Pedregon. Laptops have been banned on a handful of worldwide flights, and could soon be outlawed on far more.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed both knowledge of the disturbance and Uskanil's detainment through a written statement.
From a Hawaiian beach by phone, Sunday, Lovelace Hospital chief operating officer Basden recounts what she calls a "surreal" flight. Air Force F-22 Raptor jets scrambled from Honolulu to escort the jet.