NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Amid the pandemic, airline passengers say they’ve noticed more stress both on and above ground.
Saturday evening an affidavit shows two flight attendants were assaulted on a Spirit Airlines flight to Nashville. A woman, who police say smelled of alcohol, reportedly punched one attendant and pulled another’s hair before she was restrained and met by police at the gate.
“People are really on edge and I think hearing these kinds of stories make people more on edge and it’s really disappointing, honestly,” said Amy Moseley from Indiana.
Data confirms these tensions, too. So far this year, the FAA has had 5,558 unruly passenger reports. Of those, 3,856 were mask-related incidents or roughly 72 percent.
“These flight attendants are doing a great job to keep us all safe and we need to completely and totally comply, and it’s not that difficult to keep your mask on,” Nashville resident Scott Weaver said.
Another contributing factor may be alcohol. Airlines like Southwest and American have stopped or limited the sale of alcohol, citing the safety of their crew.
“They’re not a waitress; they’re a stewardess and they’re there to help us with the safety aspects,” Moseley said. “And I think that it’s been actually good for COVID where they’ve started reducing drinks and snacks and that kind of thing just to kind of remind us, oh yeah, they’re here for safety.”
Nashville resident Scott Weaver, returning from a cruise in the Bahamas, says alcohol wasn’t an option on his flight. It’s a policy he says he’s on board with during already stressful times.
“When we’re in the air and if a flight attendant asks you to do something, you need to comply immediately. And if you’re intoxicated or whatever you shouldn’t even be flying,” Weaver said.
Moseley said above all else, passengers need to be reminded that kindness can go a long way.
“It reminds us that we need to be considerate of each other. And just basic humanity is what we need,” she said.
📧 Have breaking come to you: Subscribe to News 2 email alerts →
Although Spirit Airlines’ website says they do serve alcohol, they did not respond when asked if the unruly passenger was drinking on board. However, they release a statement thanking the passengers who helped restrain the woman and said she would no longer be allowed to fly on their airline.
Spirit Airlines flight crew did not wish to press charges against the unruly passenger. The airline also issued the following statement to News 2:
“Law enforcement officers met Spirit Airlines flight NK222 after arriving in Nashville from Fort Lauderdale and removed a passenger for unruly behavior. We do not tolerate aggressive behavior of any kind, and this passenger is no longer welcome on any of our flights. Thank you to our Guests who assisted our crew and local law enforcement for their assistance. We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure this individual is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The public intoxication charge was dropped for the unruly passenger. She bonded out of jail for $100.