An American Airlines flight leaving Charlotte, North Carolina and traveling to Minneapolis, Minnesota was told to return to Charlotte’s airport on Monday night due to a security threat. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police evacuated the American Airlines flight, 178 passengers total, from the twin-jet Airbus A321, according to International Business Times.
When passengers were escorted off of the American Airlines flight, they were told to leave their phones and belongings on the flight and that police were searching the plane. The plane was only airborne for 24 minutes before it was forced to turn around.
Gretchen Hultman, a passenger on the American Airlines flight, told CBS Local,“We got on the ground and they said there was a threat to our plane.”
Another passenger on the American Airlines flight, Joanie Gamoke, said, “The pilot got on the air and said to disarm the exit door. And then he said ‘Hurry, quickly!’ and that kind of freaked us all out. We had to stand finger tips apart and then they brought in dogs to sniff each one of us.”
The Charlotte police department has not released what the American Airlines threat was about, but deemed it not-creditable, although federal investigators will still be looking into the incident. Passengers on the American Airlines flight were placed on another flight with a different plane and crew to fly to their destination overnight.
Former U of M Men’s Basketball Player Oto Osenieks was on board the American Airlines flight that was forced to land and live-tweeted the entire incident.
Everyone is tucked in and ready to go home. Finally! pic.twitter.com/xTJxBiimve— Oto Osenieks (@OtoOsenieks10) July 7, 2015
This is the second time in a week that a flight had to return to the airport due to a security threat. On Saturday night, a Southwest Airlines flight was forced to land after it received a threat. The threat was deemed non-credible, but passengers were displaced after the plane was forced to evacuate. Federal investigators are still looking into the incident, but as of Monday, the American Airlines plane had still been grounded.
Have you ever been on an American Airlines flight that was forced to make an emergency landing?
[Photo by Eric Thayer/ Getty Images]