Teenager attempts to open Boeing 737 door mid-air on Jeju Air flight

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A 19-year-old male will appear in court on June 20, 2023 for attempting to open the aircraft door of a Boeing B737 on a Jeju Air flight.

The incident occurred on an early morning flight from Cebu International Airport (CEB) in the Philippines to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) on June 19, 2023.

According to Incheon Police, the unidentified passenger started exhibiting unusual behavior in the middle of the flight, complaining that he felt “stuffy”. The flight attendants then moved the passenger up towards the front row so that he could be monitored.

Shortly after he was moved, the passenger tried to forcibly open the B737 door, which fortunately did not budge due to the difference in air pressure inside and outside the aircraft.

The passenger was then restrained by flight attendants and fellow passengers, and he was arrested by Incheon Police when the flight arrived in Incheon.

The Korea JoongAng Daily reported that while he was being investigated, the 19-year-old asked authorities how many life jackets were in the aircraft, and if the flight crew would have been fired if he had been successful in opening the aircraft door mid-flight.

This incident comes just weeks after a passenger opened a door mid-flight on an Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 as it was landing at Daegu International Airport (TAE), South Korea. This has reportedly caused an estimated 640 million won ($499,000) in damages. 

While there are no fines for violating the Aviation Security Act, which includes the unauthorized opening of an aircraft door, offenders can face up to 10 years in prison.

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