Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants Restrain Disruptive Passenger During Portland Descent

In-Flight Disturbance Reinforces Importance of Ban on Knives

Washington, DC – Fulfilling their primary roles as aviation’s first responders, Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), yesterday morning ensured a male passenger was restrained after he allegedly attempted to open an emergency exit row window during descent on flight 132 from Anchorage to Portland. The passenger was detained in Portland.

“Flight Attendants demonstrated extraordinary professionalism under pressure,” said Jeffrey Peterson, AFA president at Alaska Airlines. “While the next generation window exit remained closed in flight, the Flight Attendants quickly gained control of a potentially dangerous passenger. We commend our Alaska Airlines colleagues for their swift response and skilled management of the situation. And, we thank the passengers who immediately responded to the threat and followed crewmember instruction. 

“Would the story of everyday heroes have a tragic ending if the same out-of-control passenger had a knife?” questioned Peterson. “Flight Attendants expertly de-escalate conflict and maintain in-flight disturbances on a daily basis. It is simply common sense that we arm our first responders with the tools they need, not terrorists or passengers who could become violent in the air. Flight Attendants take our role as the last line of defense seriously because we understand the dangers of a disturbance at 30,000 feet, with no escape and no way to call for help. Once again we call for common sense: no knives in the aircraft cabin.”

The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at

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