A 32-year-old woman got into a verbal altercation with two Southwest Airlines employees upon boarding a flight in Dallas and punched one in the head with a clenched fist, sending the employee to the hospital.
Southwest Airlines Employee Assaulted and Hospitalized
A Southwest Airlines employee was sent to the hospital after an unruly customer on an aircraft departing from Dallas Love Field reportedly struck him in the head.
Arielle Jean Jackson, identified by Dallas Police Department as the passenger who reportedly turned aggressive on Southwest Airlines flight 4976 before it took off from Dallas Love Field Airport on Sunday.
The passenger boarded the plane at 12:40 p.m. on Saturday and had a verbal argument with an operations agent after being ordered to vacate the plane. The passenger allegedly had another verbal altercation with a second Southwest Airlines operating agent as she was departing, which the passenger then struck in the head, according to Dallas Police.
The agent was admitted to a hospital and is in stable condition, while the passenger was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
Southwest Airlines spokesperson Chris Mainz said the operations agent was released from the hospital on Saturday night and is recovering at home.
“Our entire Southwest family is wishing her a speedy and full recovery as we send our thoughts, prayers and love to her,”
“Southwest Airlines maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of harassment or assault and fully support our employee as we cooperate with local authorities regarding this unacceptable incident.”
The incident on Saturday was the latest in a worrying series of tense encounters on American commercial jets that have resulted in physical violence.
Visibly intoxicated travelers have verbally attacked, pushed, and punched airline personnel, kicked seats, thrown garbage at them, and defiled toilets, as reported by airline crew.
Unruly passenger incidents increased after the United States imposed a mask requirement on airlines and in airports on February 1.
Apparently, the FAA’s threats of fines aren’t working.
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