A female passenger assaulted a Delta flight attendant aboard a flight from Miami to Atlanta. The woman is seen getting physical and verbally abusive in video shared by many passengers on the plane.
According to many people who posted on Instagram and Twitter, the Delta passenger refused to wear her mask correctly. Delta Air Lines has a mask policy designed to stop the spread of Coronavirus. That is designed to avoid conflict, confusion and protect the public’s health.
Delta customers and employees are required to wear a face mask, or appropriate cloth face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their travel.
The airline has banned many passengers for failure to comply with the mask policy. The passenger had been instructed by the flight attendant to wear the mask correctly or be removed. That’s when the woman, with a male companion, aggressively approached the flight attendant. It is clear in the many videos circulated that the passenger struck the flight attendant in the face, pushing her backwards. The conflict ensued until help arrived to separate the passenger from the flight attendant.
Caught on Video – Delta Flight Attendant Assaulted
Here’s what happened on our @delta flight from #Miami to #Atlanta tonight after a passenger refused to wear a mask as per policy and then gets into altercation with flight attendant. Video via @kingcoreythefirst on IG pic.twitter.com/TBBYq1VCBb
— Suzanne Kianpour (@KianpourWorld) October 20, 2020
Shortly afterwards, the pilot announced that the Miami-Dade police were coming onboard. The aggressive passenger was removed from the flight. After nearly four hours, the flight finally departed from Miami International Airport. It arrived about four hours late as well.
One passenger onboard was BBC journalist Kitty Kay, who tweeted:
‘This is insane. The flight attendant got shoved by one of the passengers who refused to wear masks or leave the plane. And – 4 hours late – they are still cheerful. Mine is running thin but this @delta flight crew has a lot of patience!’ ‘So, Miami police had to board this flight before someone who refused to wear a mask for a 1 hour 45 minute flight would get off the plane so we can push back out and take off, 3 hours late. Poor flight crew. ‘2020 really sucks. What are we becoming?’
Delta provided a statement to the news media saying: ‘There is nothing more important than the safety of our people and customers. That’s why two customers who did not comply with crew safety instructions were asked to deplane Flight 1997…’We do not tolerate violence of any kind and this situation is currently under investigation. We apologize to customers for the flight delay this caused.’
Social Media Comments
As you might imagine, comments on social media were quick to condemn the actions of the passenger. One commenter remarked “If this were a Chinese passenger they would have been dragged off plane, however these two, go figure, after punching the attendant were asked politely to deplane.” That was an obvious reference to United Airlines’ infamous dragging of Dr. Dao. That incident occurred when Dao was a passenger aboard an oversold flight from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Louisville on April 9, 2017 and was forcibly removed by police for refusing to give up his seat voluntarily.
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Coronavirus has brought most travel to a standstill and wrought billions (if not trillions) of economic damage to industries. Flying is a privilege, so passengers must respect the policies of the airlines they choose to purchase a ticket with.
By no measure is refusing to wear a mask worth the potential cost of an infection, a fine or incarceration. By the way, assault on a flight attendant is a felony with up to a $250,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison.
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