HOUSTON – A United Airlines flight attendant intentionally opened a plane door and inflated the emergency slide after the aircraft landed Monday at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
According to an official with United Airlines, the incident happened around noon after Flight 1246 landed in Houston after traveling from Sacramento. The flight attendant deployed the evacuation slide when the aircraft reached Gate C43 and came to a full stop.
The plane had just landed at IAH around noon from Sacramento. After the chute deploys you see a female flight attendant first throw her bag to the ground nearly 15 feet below. She herself then follows suit.
Flight attendants are trained for this sort of thing in an emergency, and she apparently took that training seriously, sliding down the chute in textbook fashion. Passengers inside Bush were in utter disbelief.
"That's insane. Why?" Traveler Sharon Lovedahl said. "Why would she do that?"
Neither United nor investigators have revealed what led to the flight attendant's quick exit, but she doesn't appear to be too ruffled in the video.
After sliding down the chute, the woman lands and takes a few steps before grabbing the bag she threw down first and walking away.
Some passengers on the plane didn't even realize what happened because their attention was on a medical emergency at the back of the plane. A man was having trouble breathing and needed to be escorted off the flight in a wheelchair.
"When we landed we were told to stay in our seats as deplaning would take a bit longer,” said Jonah Vella, a passenger who was connecting through Houston to Munich while traveling for his video blog on YouTube. Vella added, "Everything seemed to be pretty standard."
She apparently won't be exiting any planes in this fashion anytime soon. We've learned she's been removed from flight duties.
All the other passengers deplaned normally and were safe.
The aircraft is back in service.