Buffalo Transit Police On Removing Passengers From A Plane

"It Does Happen Occasionally" - NFTA's George Gast

AP photo


Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - At Buffalo Niagara International Airport NFTA Transit Police Chief George Gast said, "It does happen occasionally.  We have had to remove passengers from flights for various reasons."  Gast said it normally comes at the request of the pilot or the officer in charge of the aircraft.

"For the most part people are cooperative. Our advice is to comply and complain later". He said every airline has a process to file a grievance. 

NFTA Police Chief George Gast /WBEN photo

While Gast cannot recall any incident stemming from an over-booking situation, he said the vast majority have been disruptive, unruly passengers. "It should not come as any surprise that a lot of times alcohol is involved".

If someone is going to be removed from a plane and refuses, Gast said they are going to be charged with some type of criminal activity, interference with a flight crew or disorderly conduct. He said officers will diplomatically, and with the least amount of force, get the person to comply. 

When asked about the situation with United Airlines this week in which a passengers was dragged from a plane, Gast said "I'm not going to second guess what the police officers did in Chicago. Each situation is different.".  In that case, the officer has been placed on paid administrative duty pending an investigation.


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