Spirit Airlines passengers endured a frightening experience aboard a flight that left passengers and even a flight attendant in tears.
Tensions were high as the Houston-to-Minneapolis flight had to divert to Rochester, Minn., when a man required medical help, according to KHOU.
“The attendant thought that he was just sleeping but he was actually in a coma,” passenger Stephanie Calder said.
But things turned even more stressful when another passenger appeared to have a meltdown, crazily marching up and down the aisle of the plane venting a threatening, profanity-laced rant.
Passenger Chianti Washington caught it on video and posted to Facebook, capturing the worried look on passengers who were praying and consoling each other through the woman’s tirade.
**Warning for disturbing content and vulgar language.
Irate passenger on my flight Spirit Airlines while making an emergency landing for a passenger with a medical issue!
Posted by Chianti Washington on Monday, June 25, 2018
The plane had landed in order to tend to the man with the medical emergency when the woman passenger began her antics.
“All of a sudden, that’s where the lady came running from the back of the plane,” Calder said. “She started saying she’s not going to calm down and wanted off the plane and such.”
Calder admitted that she was concerned for her 15-year-old daughter’s safety.
“I (was just) worried (the angry passenger was) going to go even more irate and so I just put my back toward my daughter and shielded my daughter in case this woman decided to,” she told KHOU.
“I was one row behind the emergency exit door. Now, we were landed but who knows what this woman could have done,” Calder added.
Washington, who shot the video, called the incident “scary” and said the woman “would just not stop.”
“She was yelling at the two gentlemen that were trying to block her — it was very scary,” Washington told ABC News. “She would just not stop, and as police escorted her off the aircraft continued to remain belligerent.”
“All I could think about was the children on the aircraft — I said a prayer. You just didn’t know what she was going to do. We were very much scared and shaken by her behavior,” she added.
At least one flight attendant was crying, as were several passengers, according to Washington who told KPRC click2houston.com that crew members were handing out tissues to those crying.
“Just to be in that confined space when someone that is going through something very traumatic in their life and there’s nothing you can do,” Washington said. “There’s nowhere you can go.”
The 38-year-old Minnesota woman reportedly told another passenger that she was a military veteran with PTSD. and she panicked when the flight was diverted because she had not flown in a long time, according to KPRC. She was sent to a hospital for mental health evaluation and was then free to go.
“That saddens me,” Calder told KHOU. “Now looking back at it all you just wish there was somebody on that plane (who) could have helped at that moment.”
Spirit spokesman Stephen Schuler said the woman “became erratic and irate and was removed from the aircraft with the assistance of law enforcement,” in a statement. “We apologize to our guests who had to witness this and for the inconvenience of the delay. Safety (is) our top priority at Spirit Airlines.”
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