by Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
A Baltimore-to-Austin AirTran flight diverted to Memphis after a passenger tried to open one of the plane's emergency exit doors during the flight.
Southwest Airlines spokesman Brad Hawkins confirmed the incident to Memphis station WREG-TV, saying in an e-mail it occurred Monday evening and involved AirTran Flight 265. AirTran is a subsidiary of Southwest. The flight was near Little Rock, Ark., when the decision was made to divert, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware.com.
John Greaud, the vice president of operations at the Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority that runs the Memphis airport, tells WREG authorities greeted the plane on arrival and deplaned passengers to interview them about the incident.
Greaud tells the station that the man was not especially unruly nor do they think he was intoxicated.
The flight continued on to Austin after the incident was resolved. Authorities were still considering what charges - if any - should be filed against the man.
Patty Solum was a passenger on the flight and talked to MyFoxAustin after she finally arrived in Texas.
"It's the kind of thing you hear about and worry about and it was handled completely professionally and calmly," Solum told the station as she retrieved her luggage at Austin Bergstrom International Airport.
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