A Polish woman in her 30s who was forcibly restrained by crew members on a British Airways flight to Boston Tuesday afternoon is facing a charge of interfering with a flight crew, according to State Police.
A State Police spokesman said Kamila Dolniak, 32, was intoxicated when she tried to open an exit door on the flight bound for Boston’s Logan International Airport.
“The incident was a case of intoxication, and was not related to terrorism,” the spokesman, David Procopio, said in an e-mail statement. “There is no known nexus to terrorism at this point.”
Because Dolniak is a Polish citizen, US Customs and Border Protection placed a detainer on her — meaning that if she posts bail, Dolniak will be placed into that agency’s custody. If she does not post bail, she will be held at State Police airport barracks overnight, Procopio said.
Dolniak is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge in East Boston District Court Wednesday morning.
British Airways Flight 213, a Boeing 777, landed at Logan’s Terminal E around 1:30 p.m. The plane was met by personnel from the State Police, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Customs and Border Protection, and the Transportation Safety Administration, Procopio said.
Several passengers said they saw the woman pulling on the exit door at the rear of the plane and saying she wanted to smoke.
Up to four members of the flight crew restrained the woman, and it took 30 minutes to calm her down, passengers said.
“She tried to open the door,” said Charles Hinton, 59, of Petersham. “She wasn’t violent. She wasn’t screaming.”
But Joe Burgoyne, who was traveling to Boston for a conference, said the experience was frightening nonetheless.
“With the stuff going on, it was a bit scary,” he said. “Your heart starts racing. . . . Lots of people thought the worst.”
David Hallett, 45, said he saw six or seven officers board the plane. He was seated in the business class section and said he did not hear much of a commotion. He said the woman had her head down as she was escorted off the plane.
“We were all looking around curiously to see what happened,” he said. “We did wonder if it was related to [the Paris attacks]. It was a little bit [unnerving] because you didn’t know what was going on.”
Jacqui Lewis, 49, who was in London for a business trip, said she saw the woman escorted off the plane in handcuffs.
“Most of us didn’t know what was going on,” Lewis said, adding the flight crew had the matter under control.
“They just said they needed to bring police on to take someone off the plane,” Lewis said.
MIT professor Olivier L. de Weck said the crew asked passengers to remain in their seats for about five minutes while the woman was removed from the plane.
“We really didn’t know about it until we were at the gate,’’ he said. “To us, it wasn’t a big deal.”
He commended the flight crew for acting professionally and offered the same compliment to the State Police who boarded the aircraft.