ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle was forced to return to Anchorage early Wednesday after a passenger locked himself in the bathroom, took off all his clothes, and refused to follow crew instructions, airport police said. CBS Anchorage affiliate KTVA-TV reports the plane returned to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport while flying near Prince William Sound.
Kate Danyluk, a passenger on the flight, told The Associated Press she knew something was wrong because the flight attendants kept going back and forth in the aisles and had put on rubber gloves.
“Alaska Airlines flight 146 from Anchorage to Seattle returned to Anchorage due to a passenger not following flight attendant’s instructions. While no emergency was declared, the decision was made to return to Anchorage,” Alaska Airlines spokesman Tim Thompson said in an email.
Airport police and FBI met the plane when it landed shortly before 3 a.m.
“The police came on and took him out the back door,” said Danyluk, an Anchorage teacher who was taking a “green escape” to attend a garden show in Seattle.
KTVA posted video that was submitted to the station apparently showing the scene inside Flight 146
It wasn’t immediately clear if the man was arrested. The FBI did not return repeated messages to The Associated Press on Wednesday. KTVA-TV reports that a spokeswoman for Alaska Airline’s attorney said no charges had been filed against the suspect.
“There was a subject on the aircraft that had barricaded or locked himself in the bathroom, the lavatory,” airport police Sgt. Darcy Perry told KTVA-TV. Her office declined to make her available to speak to the AP on the direction of the airport manager, who didn’t return a message.
“There was a subject on the aircraft that had barricaded or locked himself in the bathroom, the lavatory,” Perry said. “Flight attendants did find that the subject was naked.”
Danyluk didn’t see the man, and said several other men were standing near the bathroom to shield the view. She had heard “he had taken off his clothes and he just wasn’t in his right mind.”
“I’d rather go back to Anchorage than have something happen,” Danyluk said. “Safety first.”
There were 178 passengers on the flight. The reboarded flight took off for Seattle just after 6:30 a.m.
Wednesday’s incident comes amid an upcoming guilty plea by an Alaska Airlines pilot who is accused of flying drunk and about a month after a man prompted an United Airlines flight diversion to Anchorage because he was “” including a couple of bathrooms.