11 July 2024

Several flights departing from Chiang Mai airport were delayed and a few arriving flights were diverted to other airports last night, after a passenger on a Thai Airways International flight attempted to open the plane’s door as it was lining up on the runway for take-off.

THAI issued a statement today saying that the incident took place at about 10pm last night on the TG121 flight bound for Bangkok. The Airbus A320 was lining up, waiting ground control clearance, when a passenger, who appeared to be in panic, according to a fellow passenger writing on the social media, tried to open the door.

The statement said that, after the incident, mechanics checked the plane before it was allowed to leave the airport at about 11.34pm. All the crew and passengers are safe, it added.

The statement did not mention the passenger who tried to open the door, whether he was being held by police for questioning or whether he was allowed to take the flight to Bangkok.

It is reported that a Korean Air flight from Seoul was diverted to Suvarnabhumi international airport and a few other flights were diverted to Vientiane.

The incident also caused several other flights, scheduled to leave Chiang Mai, to be delayed.

Similar incidents were reported in the foreign media in January. One occurred at Toronto airport in Canada on January 8, when a passenger opened a plane’s door and fell onto the apron.

On January 25, in Mexico, a passenger opened the door to stand on the plane’s wing as it was about to take off. According to CNN, incidents of erratic behaviour by passengers have increased since the COVID pandemic.