American Airlines Passenger Won’t Stop Doing Pull-Ups, Forces Emergency Landing

There’s a time and a place to work on lat strength and a five-hour flight across the United States is not one of them.

On Monday night, American Airlines flight 2763 was just trying to make the regular flight from Phoenix to Boston but according to the news we first saw covered by CBS Boston, an unnamed fitness enthusiast had other ideas. He wanted to work on his pull-ups.

The man, who was said to be intoxicated if you can believe it, boarded the flight with a woman and not one, but two dogs — which is already pushing it, let’s be honest. He ordered more drinks during the flight and after another passenger inadvertently egged him on, the man started doing pull-ups off of the overhead compartment.

Then he refused to stop.

Pull Ups
Not pictured: pull-ups on an airplane

Passenger David Maroski gave a play-by-play of what happened.

He was leaning up against where you put the bags overhead and a passenger came by and said ‘What are you going to do, some pull ups?’ and the guy actually grabbed on to it and started doing some pull ups on the plane in front of everybody.

He would not sit down. The flight attendant probably asked him about three or four times to sit down and he refused to sit down and then he really got verbally abusive with her, starting calling her names.

Verbal abuse is about when flight attendants decide to no longer tolerate your crap and the pilots decided to divert the plane to Kansas City. FBI agents greeted the man at the gate, but it appears that no one has been taken into custody or been charged.

Amazingly, the plane eventually touched down at Boston at 1am, just 90 minutes after the original arrival time, which is pretty impressive given the impromptu landing and FBI involvement.

We know bodyweight workouts are a great way to get your gains on when there’s no gym in sight, but there’s a reason aeroplanes don’t have designated pull-up bars. Wait until you’ve collected your bags, at least.


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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.