Unruly passenger physically assaulted flight attendant, American Airlines says

(CNN) — An American Airlines flight attendant was physically assaulted by an unruly passenger on Wednesday, airline officials say.

The incident happened on American Airlines Flight 377 with service from San Jose del Cabo, Mexico to Los Angeles International Airport. Law enforcement met the theft at the gate and dismissed the unruly individual, according to a statement from American Airlines.

Video posted to social media shows an individual approaching a flight attendant from the front of the plane and continuing to punch the flight attendant with an audible gasp from passengers who witnessed the attack. incident.

“Acts of violence against our crew members are not tolerated by American Airlines,” the airline’s statement read. “The person involved in this incident will never be permitted to travel with us in the future, and we will be working closely with law enforcement in their investigation.”

A passenger on that flight has been arrested, confirmed Ciaran McEvoy, public information officer at the United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California. McEvoy added that their office consults with the FBI. No other information was provided.

CNN has contacted the FBI and the Los Angeles Global Airports Police for more information.

“We thank our crew for their prompt action and professionalism in ensuring the safety of other crew members and customers on board,” the American Airlines statement read. “Our thoughts are with our injured flight attendant, and we are making sure they and their fellow crew members have the support they need at this time.”

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), the union representing more than 24,000 American Airlines flight attendants, condemned the passenger’s behavior.

“This violent behavior puts the safety of all passengers and crew at risk and must stop,” APFA National President Julie Hedrick said in a statement.

“The APFA fully supports the crew members involved and will do everything possible to ensure that the passenger is prosecuted to the fullest extent permitted by law.”

Measures in place to deal with unruly passengers

In January 2021, the Federation Aviation Administration announced a “zero tolerance” policy for unruly passenger behavior that ignores warnings or advice and goes straight to penalties, which can include heavy fines and jail time.

A New York woman was recently sentenced to four months in prison for interfering with flight crew members for an incident aboard an American Airlines flight in February 2021.

The FAA has proposed $5 million in fines against unruly passengers in 2021.

While the number of reported incidents has decreased, the number of cases where enforcement action has been taken has increased. So far in 2022, 468 enforcement proceedings have been initiated. In 2021, there were 350.

Top Image: American Airlines planes at Los Angeles International Airport are seen in this July 2021 file photo. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)


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