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Police: Man on United flight opens door, walks on wing as plane taxis

Police said when the passenger jumped onto the tarmac, he attempted to guide the aircraft he just exited to the gate.

CHICAGO — A man opened an emergency exit of a United Airlines jet, walked onto a wing as the plane taxied at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and jumped onto the tarmac early Thursday, police said.

Chicago Police said the passenger on Flight 2478 was arrested and taken into custody. The 57-year-old Escondido, California, man was charged with reckless conduct.

Police said the incident happened at about 4:31 a.m. when the jet was approaching the gate at Terminal 1. Police said when the man jumped onto the tarmac, he attempted to guide the aircraft to the gate.

United said members of its crew stopped the passenger outside the plane, which taxied to an airport gate to let other passengers exit.

Spirit CEO says JetBlue wants to block Spirit-Frontier merger

The CEO of Spirit Airlines suggested Thursday that JetBlue Airways is more interested in blocking a merger of Spirit and Frontier Airlines than it is in buying Spirit.

Ted Christie provided more details on why Spirit's board rebuffed a $3.6 billion buyout offer from JetBlue in favor of a lower bid from Frontier.

Christie said “you don’t need to be an antitrust attorney” to see that federal regulators are unlikely to let JetBlue buy his airline while they are suing to break up JetBlue's Northeast partnership with American Airlines on anti-competitiveness grounds.

JetBlue did not immediately comment on Christie's remarks.

Spirit announced Monday that its board unanimously backed Frontier's $2.9 billion offer because it is more likely to win regulatory approval. JetBlue's CEO has hinted that his airline could respond by launching a hostile takeover effort against Spirit.

Shares of JetBlue have plunged 25% since the New York-based airline announced its bid for Spirit on April 4.

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