Flight Returns To Tokyo After Passenger Bites Flight Attendant

Flight Returns To Tokyo After Passenger Bites Flight Attendant

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Goodness, flight attendants deal with a lot…

ANA flight returns to Tokyo after biting incident

This incident happened on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, and involves All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight NH118, which was scheduled to fly from Tokyo (HND) to Seattle (SEA). The flight was operated by an 11-year-old Boeing 787-8 with the registration code JA814A, and had 159 passengers onboard.

The planned 4,769-mile flight was scheduled to depart at 9:05PM and land at 1:10PM the same day. The plane ended up taking off at 9:47PM, and climbed all the way to 39,000 feet, flying northeast over the Pacific Ocean. However, just over an hour after takeoff, the decision was made to return to Tokyo.

The reason? A 55-year-old American man bit the arm of a female flight attendant, causing a minor injury. Following this, the crew restrained the passenger for the remainder of the flight. The aircraft ended up landing back in Tokyo roughly 2hr40min after it departed, at around 12:25AM on Wednesday.

The diversion of ANA flight NH118

As you’d expect the crew timed out at this point, so the flight ended up being rescheduled for later in the day on Wednesday. The jet ended up departing at 4:00PM, and is expected to land in Seattle at 8:05AM on January 17, roughly 19 hours after the scheduled arrival time.

What caused this airplane biting incident?

Why would a traveler bite a flight attendant? According to a spokesperson for the airline, the traveler was “heavily drunk.” However, when handed over to the police, the man claimed that he had taken a sleeping pill, and had no recollection of what happened, and denied having bitten a flight attendant.

We see all kinds of passenger misbehavior on US airlines, though it’s much rarer on foreign carriers. However, I suppose it’s not a surprise that it was an American passenger involved here.

It sounds like this was a case where the combination of alcohol and sleeping pills caused some wild behavior. I’m curious to see what kind of charges he ends up facing. People need to take accountability for their actions…

The traveler claims he took a sleeping pill

Bottom line

A poor All Nippon Airways flight attendant got bitten by a passenger on a flight from Tokyo to Seattle. The aircraft ended up returning to Tokyo, and the man was arrested. The man’s defense is that he doesn’t remember having bitten the flight attendant, as he took a sleeping pill.

What do you make of this ANA incident?

Conversations (30)
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  1. Al Guest

    He was just trying to get a bite :-)

  2. Ken S. Guest

    I agree about Americans not accepting responsibility, but WE'RE not all a holes like this idiot.

  3. Jkjkjk Guest

    Yet people think it’s a bad idea for China to have a credit system where if you misbehave on train or planes you can get banned.

    It is exactly what the social credit is. When you break the law you have consequences. You jaywalk, you get penalized. You litter you get penalized. This is how china will become civilized. Yes they’re not as civil as japan but they’re at least trying something.

    This...

    Yet people think it’s a bad idea for China to have a credit system where if you misbehave on train or planes you can get banned.

    It is exactly what the social credit is. When you break the law you have consequences. You jaywalk, you get penalized. You litter you get penalized. This is how china will become civilized. Yes they’re not as civil as japan but they’re at least trying something.

    This is what you get when action has no consequences. From top down. Left and right. Right claimed to be party of law and order but they’re as corrupt as the left. You have a criminal running the country with another criminal as a contender.

  4. Steven Carroll Guest

    I was talking to a former flight attendant colleague about this and she said that the scenario is pretty common: normally nice people take a sleeping pill, have a few drinks, then start behaving either violently or very rudely. Then they can’t remember what happened.

    I think people need to be more aware of the risks of drinking alcohol while taking sleeping pills and be more responsible when using them.

  5. RF Diamond

    Make sure this American loser gets jail time.

  6. Mike C. Guest

    My wife and I love ANA and have in fact flown this very route on the 787. The ANA FA’s are stellar, competent, lovely people. One trip i spoke with one about our upcoming tourist plans in Nikko, Kamakura and elsewhere. She wrote a lovely, personalized note with some ANA swag at the end of the journey. I hope they throw the book at this clown.

  7. Anon Member

    What I find it most American about this incident is no accountability - always placing the blame on someone or something else (in this case, combination of sleeping pills and alcohol). American Way is no longer owning up - as doing so for chest thumping bald eagle types would be seen as admission of guilt and weakness.

    1. betterbub Diamond

      What I find most American about your comment is how it assumes societal problems are exclusively American. Feels like Americans simultaneously think they live in the best and worst country in the world.

    2. Shaun Guest

      @betterbub Yep. You nailed it.

    3. M. Kinder Guest

      We do simultaneously live in the best and worst country in the world. I wish half of us would slap some sense into the other half…

  8. Miami305 Member

    "We see all kinds of passenger misbehavior on US airlines, though it’s much rarer on foreign carriers."
    _ that says a lot about US FAs doesn't it?

    " However, I suppose it’s not a surprise that it was an American passenger involved here."
    _ wow. just wow. what is next? stereotypes on women? minorities?

    Ever fly in Russia? Oh boy!!!!
    How about South America? Daily!

    1. KK13 Diamond

      Or Air India... when passengers peed on co-passengers.

      Then again, American passengers misbehave and chest thump a lot, which is beyond embarrassing and irritating. Try Spirit Airlines for fun!

    2. Shaun Guest

      Spirit Airlines is a very specific subset of the American flying population. You're self-selecting for the worst behavior (though, for the record, Frontier is really the bottom of the barrel).

    3. Shaun Guest

      Ambien needs to be banned from planes. I can't even tell you how many times I've heard people actually give out advice to pop some and then wash it down with 2-3 glasses of wine and it's literally a recipe for disaster.

      They're not lying when they say they don't remember anything. Parasomnia (sleepwalking) is a known side effect of this combination.

      Sure, knocking yourself out with a horse tranquilizer makes 10 hours in economy...

      Ambien needs to be banned from planes. I can't even tell you how many times I've heard people actually give out advice to pop some and then wash it down with 2-3 glasses of wine and it's literally a recipe for disaster.

      They're not lying when they say they don't remember anything. Parasomnia (sleepwalking) is a known side effect of this combination.

      Sure, knocking yourself out with a horse tranquilizer makes 10 hours in economy a lot more tolerable. It's also dangerous, for you and those around you.

    4. magice Gold

      Wow, victim blaming much?

      We keep hearing about passenger misbehaviors on US airlines, so FA, who bear the brunt of these incidents, must be to blame. What's next? "She wore tight jeans, so she must have asked for it" sounds familiar, eh?

      I personally don't have data to back this up, so the whole "passenger misbehaviors on US airlines" might as well be availability bias. But *who* started these incidents? Did anyone force feed these...

      Wow, victim blaming much?

      We keep hearing about passenger misbehaviors on US airlines, so FA, who bear the brunt of these incidents, must be to blame. What's next? "She wore tight jeans, so she must have asked for it" sounds familiar, eh?

      I personally don't have data to back this up, so the whole "passenger misbehaviors on US airlines" might as well be availability bias. But *who* started these incidents? Did anyone force feed these passengers alcohol? Did anyone demand these passengers to behave the way they did?

      When United did sh*tty things to their passengers, we should be outraged, of course. But when these individuals do sh*tty things to their fellow human beings, why should we blame the FAs? Hey, I know, United was completely in the right. That entitled person, daring to refuse the command. Right?

      And then, the insults on other countries. Nice. You have any data backing that Russians and/or South Americans misbehaving more than Americans? No? As you yourself point out, what's next? "She asked for it", right?

  9. Speedbird Guest

    There is a reason most sleeping pills specifically instruct you not to drink while using them

  10. Cam Member

    The passenger was just trying to recreate his favorite scene from Snakes on a Plane

  11. George Romey Guest

    Air travel is the clear indicator of the decline of the human race.

  12. Klaus_S New Member

    Luckily it wasn’t the snake on an Air Asia flight that bit the flight attendant

  13. MildMidwesterner Diamond

    The American customer must have been confused when the flight attendant said, "I'm Yumi."

    1. Smokie Guest

      Imagine what would that customer do to “Fook Mi”

  14. Tim Guest

    Ben, I love you for pointing out the obvious: Of course it was an American that bit the flight attendant! I‘m not sure why this was immediately clear to me when I read the headline but I feel that something is going terribly wrong in this country…

    1. DCAWABN Guest

      My disdain for a lot of American passengers seems to know no bounds - and I say that as an American, though much more well traveled than the vast majority of Americans - but events like this are not an American-specific occurrance. There are lots of shenanigans from Brits/Aussies on LCCs that essentially act as Chav/Bogan Holiday Busses to places like Ibiza or the Canary Islands or Bali. Credit and dismay where it's due, but...

      My disdain for a lot of American passengers seems to know no bounds - and I say that as an American, though much more well traveled than the vast majority of Americans - but events like this are not an American-specific occurrance. There are lots of shenanigans from Brits/Aussies on LCCs that essentially act as Chav/Bogan Holiday Busses to places like Ibiza or the Canary Islands or Bali. Credit and dismay where it's due, but make sure it's not isolated to one group when it's fairly evenly spread amongst a couple.

    2. David Diamond

      Some Westerners are so focused on the "freedom and individualism" side of the equation, they forgot their responsibilities to function as a part of society.

    3. JP Guest

      @David thank you so much for pointing this out. They honestly act like they'll die as soon as 1% of their so-important "freedom" is invaded

  15. Nick Guest

    Are airlines actually enforcing some rules preventing passengers from getting too drunk? I have many thoughts regarding this incident, but I don't think I should say that publicly...

    Yesterday, a Korean Air A330 and a Cathay Pacific 777 collided at New Chitose Airport (Sapporo). And today a passenger bites a flight attendant... when will we hear something positive for the first time in 2024, especially in aviation industry? Or I might be missing something...

    1. Klaus_S New Member

      At most lounges, the alcohol selection is better than the food selection. Same applies for premium cabins…

    2. Chris_ Gold

      It was only an hour into the flight that the flight diverted, so it was likely that he was already drunk, and then took a sleeping pill on top of it, which does cause rough effects.

    3. AC Guest

      My guess is, and from experience of seeing waay too many brash "I'm American, do you speak ENGLISH" in Asia. The American in question probably didn't behave all that differently to a sober loud American when boarding to be identified at the gate.
      With most "news"....good things don't get reported often, especially with the aviation industry where being safe and on time is somewhat expected, so when news do come up, it's normally negative.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Tim Guest

Ben, I love you for pointing out the obvious: Of course it was an American that bit the flight attendant! I‘m not sure why this was immediately clear to me when I read the headline but I feel that something is going terribly wrong in this country…

5
Anon Member

What I find it most American about this incident is no accountability - always placing the blame on someone or something else (in this case, combination of sleeping pills and alcohol). American Way is no longer owning up - as doing so for chest thumping bald eagle types would be seen as admission of guilt and weakness.

3
RF Diamond

Make sure this American loser gets jail time.

2
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