This one is so strange that almost no one I talked to about it believed it was true – but it is. I first learned about it from the first hand account of a passenger on-board who posted the following on FlyerTalk:
Now I am sure your initial thought, like mine, was this is too crazy to be true and where are all the news reports about the incident? The flight an Airbus A319, DL1325 departing from Gate D10 at 6:32AM on Monday May the 23rd from New Orleans MSY to Los Angeles LAX, apparently had closed the boarding door and was at the gate ready to depart when the passenger opened the door and jumped out of the aircraft!
I reached out to the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport for more information about the incident but was refused comment and told to contact the FBI. Instead I reached out to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and spoke to Colonel John Fortunato over the phone and was told that:
“A 20 year old female passenger (I have chosen to withhold the name) from Las Vegas opened the main boarding door and jumped from the Delta flight over to the jet bridge and then onto the tarmac and ran. She was quickly apprehended without incident and taken to a local hospital.”
According to other sources who work for Delta the lady told passengers that “people were chasing her”. Onboard she pushed a few people, and the flight attendants, out of the way before the slide could be activated and opened the door herself. She apparently did not break any bones on the leap from the Delta jet.
Further I reached out to Delta Air Lines and they confirmed with the “MSY station and from our Operations and Customer Center” that the event did in fact happen as described in the police report.
It is very fortunate that the crew had not yet armed the emergency slides or the flight would have clearly been either delayed for many hours or possibly even canceled. Instead the flight only had a slight departure delay and amazingly, considering what happened, and according to FlightAware.com it landed on time in LAX.
Travel is always interesting, some days more interesting than others. I am happy no one was hurt and hopefully the passenger gets some help for whatever is clearly wrong with her. – René