Frontier flight diverted over passenger with box cutter

Southeast

FILE – In this Sept. 22, 2019, file photo, Frontier Airlines airliners stand at gates at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

(NewsNation) — A Frontier Airlines flight bound for Tampa, Florida, was forced to make an emergency landing in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday evening after a passenger was discovered with a box cutter, a Frontier Airlines spokesperson told NewsNation Saturday morning.

“Frontier Airlines flight 1761, which departed Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport yesterday evening en route to Tampa, diverted to Atlanta after a passenger on board the aircraft was observed in possession of a box cutter,” Jennifer F. de la Cruz said.

In the statement, de la Cruz said there have been no reports of injuries to passengers or crew members. Also, she said the aircraft landed safely in Atlanta and the passenger in question was taken into custody by Atlanta law enforcement.

“All passengers deplaned the aircraft and were provided overnight hotel accommodations in Atlanta. A new flight was scheduled for this morning to transport passengers from Atlanta to their final destination of Tampa,” the statement concluded.

TSA confirmed the incident on Saturday to NewsNation. In a statement, TSA spokesperson Patricia Mancha said that the FBI and Atlanta Police Department responded to the incident, took the suspect into custody and the flight was canceled. A second box cutter was discovered, Mancha revealed.

“Following a search of the suspect, a second box cutter was discovered in the passenger’s carry-on,” Mancha said.

Mancha announced that the situation with the Frontier flight is under investigation by the US Attorney’s Office.

“TSA has started an internal review of the incident by viewing CCTV, airport security checkpoint processes/operations and will continue to provide updates as they are available. TSA can confirm that blades are prohibited in the cabin, but allowed in checked luggage,” Mancha said.

The FAA is also conducting an investigation into the incident, according to NewsNation affiliate WFLA.

The airline industry has experienced turbulence throughout 2022 as the COVID-19 pandemic has waned, NewsNation affiliate The Hill reported.

Airline pilots and other industry employees have organized multiple strikes this year, while customers have complained of massive increases in flight cancellations and delays.

Inflation is threatening to derail some customers’ travel plans during the holiday season as airfares skyrocket and flight demand increases.

NewsNation affiliate The Hill contributed to this report.

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