Luckily no one was injured, but that’s terrifying …
American Airlines crew robbed in Costa Rica
View from the wing reports an incident early Tuesday morning with the crew of American Airlines Flight 1204, a Boeing 737-800 scheduled to run from San Jose, Costa Rica to Miami, Florida.
The Miami crew of six (two pilots and four flight attendants) had spent the night in Costa Rica prior to the 5:20 am flight, and this incident happened on the way to the airport:
- The crew was picked up from the hotel at 3:40 a.m. and the van carrying the crew drove over a plastic box on the street that may have been left there on purpose
- The driver got off the card to remove the plastic box from under the vehicle. At this point the crew was robbed
- A man jumped into the driver’s seat with a knife and requested electronics (including cell phones) for the entire crew
- Then another man with a gun opened the van door and jumped in, holding the gun on the heads of the American Airlines crew until all belongings were turned over
- At this point the crew was brought back to the hotel and the flight was delayed by more than seven hours
It is not known if the crew were targeted or if this was a coincidence as the van was just the vehicle that could be driven over the box.
What American Airlines Says
An American Airlines spokesman made the following statement regarding the incident:
“We are aware that our crew members unfortunately fell victim to a crime en route to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) on March 16. Our security team is in close contact with local law enforcement and has quickly taken action to take reinforced measures to ensure the safety of our team members. “
At around 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning, an American Airlines crew was robbed at gunpoint in a van on their way to the airport, resulting in a flight delay of over seven hours. What a terrible incident, even though at least no one was injured and American Airlines will presumably reimburse employees for their lost belongings.
Flight crew robberies are not uncommon, but they are quite rare among U.S. flight crews given the limited locations in which they fly and lie. I would envision the time of day (or night in this case) flowing into the situation because not much good is happening at that hour.