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How do you feel about criminals being transported on your commercial flight? On a return flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico I was sitting in a restaurant when a law enforcement looking man escorting another man who happened to be wearing ankle cuffs shuffled along next to him. My first thought was, ‘gees I hope they aren’t on my flight.’
Criminals On Your Flight
It turns out that not only were they on my flight but, that they boarded first which I found a little amusing. I was a First class passenger traveling with a baby and I was asked to not pre-board (which was only for the elderly and the injured needing more time.) The passenger who was cuffed was now joined by a second escort as they boarded.
Once on board, I waited for the pilot to announce what the situation was with the passenger but, there was no announcement made. My thoughts were swirling; who was this cuffed passenger? What was his crime? Was he violent? Were the men escorting him armed? It seemed like a situation that required a little more information to be given to the non-criminal occupants of the flight. But, no one else seemed to notice or to care.
I ended up casually asking a friendly flight attendant if they transported many cuffed passengers on Delta? He said, “what criminal?” He was a First class flight attendant and had no idea that there was such a passenger on board. He thanked me for mentioning it and went to find out what was going on.
In the end, he came back to tell me that the 2 men escorting the cuffed man were bounty hunters and that the flight attendants in Coach were aware. But, that since they were bounty hunters (not armed) that they didn’t have to clear through any additional protocol on the flight (i.e. notifying the captain, etc.)
This instance got me thinking about the idea of commercial planes transporting criminals in hand cuffs. How safe is it? Should this be allowed? Should the airlines have to notify you that you will be flying with a cuffed criminal? What about sitting next to a passenger such as this? This time, nothing happened inflight that I was aware of. I did get an eery feeling watching this man board the plane in cuffs and hoped that my kids didn’t notice. There have been incidents in the past where people have been shot in transport of inmates so, there is certainly some danger that is a possibility. See this story reported by NBC News, in ‘Inmate Shot at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.’ In this instance the inmate was shot in the airport waiting for a connecting flight.
What do you think? Have you ever been in a ‘criminals on a plane’ situation like this? Hit the comments.