On Friday night, a passenger on board a plane getting ready to take off from Chicago O’Hare allegedly tried to break into the cockpit and open the emergency exit doors. As a result, United Airlines reportedly put some of its aircraft on ‘lockdown’.
According to several reports, an unruly passenger tried to enter the cockpit of flight UA1641 as it was taxiing to leave for Los Angeles.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement to Fox News that the Boeing 737 returned right away to the gate where law enforcement was ready to detain the suspect.
However, the brief incident was sufficient for United to communicate a “Level 4 threat” to several of its aircraft that were in the air at the time.
The most serious threat level, Level 4, denotes an actual or attempted breach of the flight deck. According to reports, some United flights were placed on lockdown, and extra security measures were implemented to protect the flight deck from intruders.
The security warning comes just a few days before the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks, in which terrorists brought down two aircraft operated by American Airlines and two by United Airlines after viciously attacking passengers and crew.
United did not immediately respond to a request for comment.