Autistic teen is duct taped to his seat after meltdown on flight

Autistic boy, 13, is duct taped to his seat on American Airlines flight from Maui to LA after suffering meltdown and attacking his mom as distressed brother tries to kick out plane’s window

  • A teenage American Airlines passenger with autism had a medical meltdown midflight and was duct taped to his seat ‘for the safety of the other passengers’ 
  • His brother, whose age is unknown, panicked during the incident and tried to kick the plane’s door open midflight  
  • The Maui to LAX flight was diverted to Honolulu 
  • The family and other customers were ‘re-accommodated on other flights or provided hotel accommodations,’ an American Airlines spokesperson said 

A teenage American Airlines passenger with autism had a medical meltdown midflight and was duct taped to his seat ‘for the safety of the other passengers,’ a source with knowledge of the incident told DailyMail.com. 

The tail-end of the chaotic scene aboard Tuesday’s flight from Maui to LAX was caught on video, which shows passengers helping flight attendants restrain the 13-year-old boy. 

He had been fighting with his mom, who is disabled with only one arm and had a difficult time getting her son to calm down, the source told DailyMail.com. 

The chaotic scene stressed out the teenager’s brother, whose age is unknown, and he panicked and tried to break the plane window while the they were in the air, according to the source.  

The flight diverted to Honolulu, where the family and other customers were ‘re-accommodated on other flights or provided hotel accommodations,’ an American Airlines spokesperson said in an emailed statement. 

‘Safety and security is our top priority, and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this caused,’ the spokesperson said.  

Flight attendants used duct tape to restrain the 13-year-old boy with Autism who had a medical meltdown midflight and couldn’t be consoled

Passengers had to help restrain the teen. His mom is disabled and has only one arm, a source said, and couldn’t console her son who has Autism

While this particular incident was not an example of the recent phenomenon of air rage, the number of out-of-control passengers on planes have skyrocketed this year. 

In June, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that airlines have reported more than 3,000 incidents involving unruly passengers since January 1, with about 76 percent of the nearly 3,300 reports involving passengers who refused to wear masks on board their flights.

It has collected $682,000 in penalties since the new regulations went into effect.

While the FAA agency did not track such reports in prior years, a spokesman said it was safe to assume this year’s numbers are the highest ever. 

Many of these air-rage incidents have been captured on video, which have gone viral on social media.  

Most recently, a July 31 video of ‘model’ college frat boy Maxwell Boy, 22, launching into a drunken tirade about how rich his parents were went viral. 

During that episode, he was seen in videos punching a male flight attendant after he allegedly groped two other female flight attendants on Frontier Airlines and then was seen being duct taped to his seat. 

Berry was ultimately arrested on three misdemeanor charges of batter when the plane landed in Miami-Dade. The FBI has said they aren’t pursuing felony federal charges. 

Scroll down for video. 

On a July 31 Frontier Airlines flight, a drunk passenger was accused of groping two flight attendants and punching a third on a flight from Philadelphia to Miami


Maxwell Berry, 22, was then duct-taped to his seat and arrested on three counts of battery after the incident

About a week before Berry’s incident, two women were seen brawling on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta. 

The video, tweeted by Las Vegas Scoop, shows a woman in the aisle of the plane pointing at another woman in her seat, as people yell: ‘It’s not even worth it, it’s not even worth it.’

The woman in the seat then starts pointing back at the woman in the aisle, who starts slapping at her and points again, while the two argue.

At that point, the woman in the seat grabs the woman in the aisle and starts pushing her down and punching her, grabbing her by the hair to keep her down.

The FAA said that airlines have reported more than 3,000 incidents involving unruly passengers since January 1

A man in the background could be heard yelling ‘It’s lit, it’s lit.’ They are seen brawling in the aisle, as a group of passengers surrounds them.

It remains unclear what led to the brawl or whether either of the women faced any repercussions for their actions.

These types of unruly passenger behavior has become a common problem for flight attendants in 2021, according to a study released by the flight attendants union on July 29. 

It included nearly 5,000 responses from flight attendants across 30 airlines between June 25 to July 14.  

The online study said 85 percent of flight attendants have dealt with unruly passengers; nearly 1 in 5 have experienced physical incidents in 2021; and 71 percent of flight attendants who filed incident reports to management received no follow up. 

Sara Nelson, president of the union, said in a statement that the ‘vitriol, verbal and physical abuse from a small group of passengers is completely out of control, and is putting other passengers and flight crew at risk.’

‘This is not a “new normal” we are willing to accept,’ Nelson said. 

When asked what is believed to be the cause or escalating reasons for the unruly behavior, the union said flight attendants cited a mixture of mask compliance, alcohol, routine safety reminders, flight delays and cancellations.  

She is pushing the FAA to implement a ‘zero tolerance’ policy and the Department of Justice to utilize existing laws to pursue criminal prosecution. 

‘We know the government, airlines, airports and all stakeholders can take actions together to keep us safe and flying friendly,’ Nelson said. 

The Federal Aviation Administration is urging airports to monitor sales of alcohol in terminal bars and wants to ban ‘to-go’ drinks to try and curb the surge in unruly passengers on flights

In early August, the FAA urged airports to monitor alcohol sales in terminal bars and wants to ban ‘to-go’ drinks to slow the surge in unruly passengers on flights.

The FAA has initiated a crackdown with airlines encountering a rising number of violent and disruptive passengers as more Americans start flying again.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a previous statement: ‘Our investigations show that alcohol often contributes to this unsafe behavior.’ 

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