On Wednesday, an Alaska Airlines flight with the designation Flight 334 was flying from Atlanta to Seattle when it had to be diverted to Spokane. The diversion was prompted by a threat made by a passenger on the aircraft, according to a statement from Alaska Airlines. The man reportedly made a direct threat to the safety of the plane, which caused concern among the crew.
The flight, carrying 177 passengers and six crew members, landed at Spokane International Airport at around 5:15 p.m. local time. Due to the seriousness of the threat, the airport temporarily closed its aviation operations. However, the airport reopened at 6:45 p.m.
Following the landing, all passengers were safely deplaned. At approximately 7 p.m., one person was taken into custody in relation to the incident, as confirmed by Todd Woodard, a spokesperson for the airport.
Immediately after the aircraft landed, both local and federal law enforcement agencies were notified and met the plane at the airport. The Spokane Police Department, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are currently conducting an investigation into the incident.
Spokane news station KHQ reported that the Spokane Police Department’s bomb squad was present at the scene, although no further details were provided by the airline or airport regarding the nature of the threat.
Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines is working diligently to arrange transportation for the affected passengers and crew members, aiming to get them to their original destination of Seattle as quickly as possible. The flight had initially departed from Atlanta at 3:18 p.m. Eastern time.