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December 03, 2012

American flight delayed at DFW because of a suspicious comment by a passenger

An American Airlines flight headed to Guatemala returned to its gate at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport before take-off due to a disruptive passenger.

According to DFW Airport spokesman David Magana, American flight 2137 was taxiing to the runway when a passenger on board made a comment that was "interpreted as potentially serious."

"The comments were reported to the pilot, who decided to return to the gate for an aircraft search," Magana said. The 23-year-old Guatemalan citizen was detained and will be questioned by federal authorities.

The Boeing 737-800 had 150 passengers on board and six crewmembers. The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 4:45 p.m. from DFW to Guatemala City. According to American's website, the flight has yet to leave DFW, although it does have a departure time of 8:05 p.m. CDT.

UPDATE: Airport spokesman David Magana said airport public safety personel cleared the scene and no other flights or airport operations were disrupted by the incident.

"Once the aircraft was cleared to the satisfaction of American Airlines security, DFW Department of Public Safety and the FBI, passengers again boarded the aircraft starting about 7:20 p.m.," Magana said.

American Airlines spokesman Andrea Huguely said the passengers were rescreened before boarding the same aircraft once it had been checked.

The 23-year-old passenger caused a disruption while the aircraft was taxing, saying he didn't want to fly anymore. The flight attendant asked him to be seated but at that point the passenger said he had problems with his baggage. The pilot was then alerted and decided to bring the plane back to the gate, Huguely said.

-Andrea Ahles

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