A serviced flight attendant took control of the public address system and fought with passengers and crew members aboard a Delta Air Lines flight on Friday in the latest outbreak of violent behavior by airline passengers, the airline said.
Delta said Flight 1730, en route from Los Angeles to Atlanta, landed in Oklahoma City after the flight attendant grabbed the public speaking system and made an announcement about oxygen masks, leaving a fight with passengers and crew. originated. subject him.
Video of the flight showed a violent confrontation near the front of the plane involving several people wrestling the man on the floor while someone said, ‘Get him off. Keep him down. ”
“The plane landed without incident and the passenger was removed by law enforcement,” Delta said in a statement. “We apologize to our customers for the delay and the additional inconvenience it causes.”
Oklahoma City police said they removed a man from the plane and took him to a hospital, where he was released into FBI custody.
Megan Lauro, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s field office in Oklahoma City, confirmed on Saturday that the agency is investigating. According to her, the man was in jail and interrogated. She declined to comment on possible charges.
Benjamin Curlee, 29, said he was sitting about four or five rows from the back of the plane, about two hours from Atlanta, when a voice came over the intercom and everyone said they should sit and prepare to take off. pull. oxygen masks.
“It made everyone extremely tense, but they started to comply,” he said. Curlee, who describes the ordeal TikTok, said in an interview on Saturday.
Only later, after the plane landed, did he hear from other passengers that it was the man who was fighting with passengers and crew members who announced the oxygen masks.
After a ‘very long two minutes’, Mr. Curlee said the captain came on the public speaking system and asked ‘every man with a body’ to come to the front of the plane for an ’emergency’.
About half of the passengers jumped on board, according to Mr. Curlee, who said he was about halfway to the front of the cabin when the air hostesses told everyone to return to their seats because the situation was under control.
The episode comes amid what the Federal Aviation Administration described as a “significant increase” in disruptive behavior on flights beginning in late 2020.
The FAA said it had received about 2,900 reports of illegal behavior by passengers since January 1, including about 2,200 reports of passengers refusing to comply with a federal mandate that they wear masks.
Last month, two major airlines, American and Southwest, postponed plans to serve alcohol on flights again in an effort to stem the violence and disorder.
Both airlines announced the policy after a wide-ranging coverage video showed how a woman punched an air hostess in the face on May 23 during a Southwest Airlines flight from Sacramento to San Diego.
The flight attendant lost two teeth in the assault, according to her union, and the passenger was charged with battery causing serious bodily injury. The passenger was also banned from flying Suidwes for life, the airline said.
Late Thursday night, a Delta flight from Los Angeles to New York to Detroit was diverted after a passenger became improper, CBS News report.
Dana Jacobson, a co-host of CBS This Morning: Saturday, who was on the run, said on Twitter that another passenger told her that a ‘drunk passenger in the back of the plane’ was out of control and was drinking from a bottle. ‘
Steve Dickson, the FAA administrator, said in a video statement that the agency has a ‘zero tolerance policy’ for passengers who cause disruptions to flights or do not obey the flight crew’s instructions.
Passengers, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear masks on planes and airports, he said.
“But it’s not just about face masks,” he said. Dickson said. “We have seen incidents related to alcohol, violence against flight attendants and abusive behavior in general.”