Passenger arrested after trying to open plane exit door, reportedly on meth

A Korean Air passenger was arrested last week after trying to open a plane’s exit door during a flight.

The flyer was on a trip from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Incheon International Airport in South Korea that departed Wednesday, according to airline spokesperson Jill Seungwon Chung. “The attempt was stopped by our crew members, and the passenger was arrested by the airport police upon arrival,” she told USA TODAY in an emailed statement.

Airport police said the passenger, a 26-year-old woman, tested positive for meth, the Korea JoongAng Daily reported. Korean Air did not address additional details.

Travelers could face 10 years in prison for trying to open an exit door, and up to 10 years in prison or a fine of nearly $77,000 related to the drugs, according to the outlet.

The incident comes after a man successfully opened an emergency exit door on an Asiana Airlines flight in May, injuring at least 12 people. The plane was heading from the South Korean island of Jeju to Daegu at the time.

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The rate of unruly passenger incidents has declined by over 80% after reaching record highs in 2021, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency received 2,455 reports of unruly passengers in 2022, dropping from 5,973 the year before.

The FAA had received 1,820 unruly passenger reports this year as of Nov. 12.

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Korean Air passenger arrested for trying to open exit door mid-flight