Passenger takes off clothes during flight, forces plane to return to airport

Passenger takes off clothes during flight, forces plane to return to airport

An Alaska Airlines plane bound for Seattle returned to Anchorage early Wednesday after authorities said a man locked himself in the plane's bathroom, stripped naked and refused to follow instructions from flight attendants.

Of course, Alaska is very cold, but perhaps he was misled about how warm it was further south, where the plane was headed?

"There was a subject on the aircraft that had barricaded or locked himself in the bathroom, the lavatory", airport police Sgt. Darcey Perry told KTVA-TV.

Once they returned to the flight's airport of origin, Ted Stevens International Airport, passengers were told to disembark the plane and had to wait three and a half hours before their next opportunity to fly to Seattle.

"At present time we are going to ask everyone to deplane with all your carry-on bags", the voice on the loudspeaker says as passengers begin removing their belongings from the storage compartments.

Details on the incident are unclear, but one passenger described how it became clear that something was wrong as flight crew went back and forth through the aisles wearing rubber gloves.

"The police came on and took him out the back door", she said, adding that she had heard that the man "had taken off his clothes and he just wasn't in his right mind".

Staci Feger-Pellessier, a spokeswoman for the Anchorage FBI office, said in an email Thursday morning that the man was taken to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Other passengers on the flight were also interviewed. Flight 146 arrived at Anchorage International around 2:45 am and was met by law enforcement officers at the gate.

There were 178 passengers on the flight.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents interviewed the naked man back at the airport, Perry said, KTVA reported.

The flight, which was originally scheduled to take off at 1:25 a.m., ultimately departed again at 6:37 a.m., according to the airline's website.

"While no emergency was declared, pilots made the decision to return to Anchorage", Alaska Airlines spokesman Tim Thompson told KTVA.