United Airlines caught a thunderstorm of backlash after aggressively dragging Dr. David Dao off his flight from Chicago in April.
Since that time, multiple commercial airliners have put policies in place that prevent removing a passenger from the flight who is already on board.
But what about actual threats on a flight? Due to security restrictions in place on commercial airliners, it's not easy for a passenger or flight attendant to neutralize someone on a plane who could actually endanger the lives of those on board.
On Thursday, a Delta Airlines flight from Seattle to Beijing, China, quickly spun out of control.
Joseph Daniel Hudek IV was in first class and just exiting the restroom. It's unclear why he did what he did next. But according to the criminal complaint, he went for the exit door and tried to open it. Two flight attendants attempted to restrain him, but it was easier said than done. Hudek punched one the attendants in the face twice and hit another passenger with a red dessert wine bottle.
ABC News reported that that's when one of the attendants decided to take matters into their own hands:
As the struggle raged [on], a flight attendant grabbed two wine bottles and hit Hudek over the head with each, breaking at least one of them. [...]
According to one flight attendant cited in the complaint, “Hudek did not seem impacted by the breaking of a full liter red wine bottle over his head, and instead shouted, 'Do you know who I am?' or something to that extent.”
One passenger got him in a head-lock, but he broke out of it, until finally several passengers held him long enough to place zip-tie restraints on him.
One passenger on board called the flight attendant a “hero.”
Hudek was arrested when the flight returned to Seattle. Fortunately, the flight attendant and passenger who were assaulted sustained non-life-threatening injuries.