Flight 2396 traveling from Charlotte to Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Maryland was canceled due to severe weather conditions, which restricted air traffic throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, an American Airlines spokesperson told FOX Business.
However, the cancelation came after 172 passengers and six crew members had already boarded the plane, according to the spokesperson.
One of the passengers, Brandon Goldner, who is a reporter with WCNC, tweeted that everyone was stuck on the plane for at least half an hour after the flight was canceled because there was no one to operate the jet bridge and pleaded for help.
Another passenger, couldn’t handle waiting.
Instead, while “waiting for the jet bridge to be repositioned” they “opened the over-wing emergency exit and jumped onto the ramp,” the spokesperson said.
In a follow-up tweet, Goldner shared an image of the open exit door.
“So a passenger had enough and crawled over us in the exit row and let himself out. They got him by the jet bridge,” Goldner tweeted.
American confirmed that the passenger was “immediately detained” by airline team members and was placed into custody by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. The passenger was also placed on American’s internal refuse list pending further investigation.
The rest of the passengers deplaned after waiting roughly 40 minutes on board. Each customer was rebooked on alternate flights, the airline confirmed.
“We thank our team members for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience,” the spokesperson added.
This is just one of many flights impacted by a shift in the carrier’s operations.
At the end of June, the airline disclosed that it was being forced to cancel upward of 80 flights per day and had to adjust a “fraction” of its flight schedules in July.
Despite ramping up operations to meet the recent surge in demand for travel over the peak summer season, the carrier faced unprecedented weather at its largest hubs, ultimately disrupting operations throughout the month. Many airlines have also been hit with staffing shortages as well.