Connect with us


A federal air marshal was taken off a plane in handcuffs



United Airlines Shutterstock

  • A federal air marshal was removed from a United
    subsidiary flight on Monday night after a flight
    attendant saw the gun he was carrying and issued an emergency
  • The air marshal and one other man were taken off the
    plane and handcuffed before they were questioned by the
    at the Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport.
  • While the Transportation
    Security Administration
    claims the flight attendant mistook
    the air marshal for a passenger, the Star-Tribune
    the air marshal actually showed the flight
    attendant his gun and that was why an emergency was

A federal air marshal was hauled off a United Airlines regional
partner plane in handcuffs after a flight attendant saw the
gun he was carrying and issued an emergency alert in concert with
the crew, according to a Star
Tribune report.

The incident occurred on United Airlines Flight 3531 on late
Monday night as the flight was traveling nonstop from Newark
Liberty International Airport to Minneapolis St.Paul
International Airport. The flight was operated by Republic
Airline, an Indianapolis-based regional partner of United
Airlines and other major carriers. 

Republic Airlines spokesperson Jon Austin told Business Insider
in a statement, “The safety and security of our customers
and employees is our top priority. We are aware of this incident
and are working with investigators.”

Neither the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) nor United
Airlines responded to Business Insider when asked to comment on
the matter. 

In a statement to the
Star Tribune,
the TSA said: “A Federal Air Marshal on
official business onboard a flight was mistaken for a passenger
by a flight attendant. Protocols for notification of law
enforcement presence aboard an aircraft are in place to avoid
incident like this. TSA is working with the airline to
determine the specific circumstances in this case.”

According to
CBS4 Minnesota,
the flight landed at MSP Airport at 11:30
p.m. Monday night, but did not make it to the gate. The New York
passengers onboard Flight 3531 were told their
landing was delayed because of an occupied gate. Chaos soon
erupted, as several police cars surrounded the plane and two
dressed in slacks and button-down shirts
were removed from
the plane and handcuffed, according to the Star Tribune. 

While the TSA has stated the flight attendant is to blame for the
misidentification, it appears the air marshal himself may have
violated protocol. 

Earlier in the flight, the Star-Tribune
that it was confirmed rather quickly that the two men
were air marshals and that one of them actually showed the flight
attendant his gun. From there she alerted the cockpit. 

“That is completely against SOP [standard operating
procedure] for them to show their firearm,” said the pilot of
flight 3531, whose recordings were captured by and

by the Star-Tribune. “So that’s the reason we
declared an emergency.”

The TSA told the
New York Post
that the air marshal was traveling on “official

Following their removal from the plane, the Star-Tribune reports
the two men were questioned by the FBI at the airport. And while
the Star Tribune reports that the second detained
passenger was also a federal air marshal, the TSA did not confirm

CBS4 Minnesota reports that the FBI is leading an investigation
into the incident. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job