American Airlines flight 2289 from Los Angeles to Miami on Wednesday afternoon encountered some sort of threat about an hour before landing. Passengers onboard say the crew ordered them to put their hands up, and keep them on their heads citing a ‘security threat.’
“Passengers were ordered to put their hands on their heads for 45-60 minutes before landing,” Chris Nguyen, who was on the flight, wrote on Twitter. “Strangely, passengers were repeatedly told not to film on the plane.”
That didn’t stop Chris Nguyen though. He managed to post a seven-second video to Twitter.
Once the plane was on the ground, Mr. Nguyen says, armed police boarded the aircraft and made an arrest.
Passengers were then led off the plane and told to wait in the terminal. American Airlines confirmed this part of the story, but still did not disclose what the security threat was.
“On July 7, American Airlines flight 2289, a Boeing 777-300 operating from Los Angeles (LAX) to Miami (MIA), was met by law enforcement upon landing at MIA due to a possible security threat on board,” the airline told The Independent. “Passengers were deplaned and bused to the terminal, and the aircraft was inspected by authorities. Safety and security is our top priority and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this caused.”
If it was as serious as the video makes it appear, or as credible, why didn’t the aircraft make an emergency landing? FlightAware shows the aircraft returned to the gate for roughly 45 minutes before departure. But, at 45 minutes to an hour prior to landing the aircraft would have most likely been near New Orleans or at least the West Coast of Florida for a diversion rather than continuing to Miami.
American Airlines and authorities haven’t commented on what the threat was or what would have prompted the grew to order passengers to keep their hands on their heads.