A viral video provides yet another example of how air travel has unfortunately become, at times, a flying fight club.
In this instance, two women on a Spirit Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta got into a heated discussion that devolved into punching and grappling before some men appeared to have intervened and broken it up.
Numerous passengers filmed the fisticuffs with their cell phone cameras, with one bystander repeatedly declaring “it’s lit!”
The cause of the spirited dispute is as yet unknown, but these kinds of confrontations — whatever their source — have become all too common regardless of the air carrier involved.
— Las Vegas Scoop (@lasvegasscoop1) July 23, 2021
Although fast-food restaurant meltdowns by “hangry” customers provide regular content for social media platforms, violent incidents both inside airport terminals and aboard planes are giving them a run for their money.
With long lines at TSA screening queues, plus being packed in on planes like sardines, along with random flight delays, and missed connections, traveling by commercial air routinely pre-COVID was stressful or frustrating enough.
Since the easing of pandemic restrictions, the subsequent increase in pent-up passenger traffic might possibly explain, in part, the unusually aggressive behavior that has regrettably emerged.
A longer version of the Spirit Airlines brawl as posted to YouTube is embedded below:
At least 3,000 incidents involving unruly passengers have occurred since the beginning of 2021, according to Federal Aviation Administration statistics, many involving facemask-related disputes.
In a press release issued in late May, the FAA said that it was implementing a “zero-tolerance policy for unruly and dangerous behavior by passengers.” Violators could face civil penalties as well as criminal charges. The airlines themselves, along with unions representing pilots and flight attendants, have reportedly called upon the U.S. Justice Department to do more in response to these outbursts.
Various theories have been offered for the increase in air rage, CBS News reported:
It’s not clear why there is so much air rage. Airline employees and outside experts offer explanations including cramped flights, political polarization over wearing face masks, and the way pandemic lockdowns affect people’s mental health.
We are all more traumatized than we realize, and that puts people on edge,” said Raymond Tafrate, a psychologist and criminology professor at Central Connecticut State University who has studied anger. “The pandemic isolated people and caused all sorts of stress and problems in their lives. People are in worse shape than they were before.”
Robert Bor, an aviation psychologist in London who advises airline crews, blames anxiety over COVID-19 and enclosed spaces…
Earlier this month, a woman who missed her flight home allegedly tried to attack a Frontier Airlines worker with a pole in a disturbing two-minute video captured at Orlando International Airport that went viral.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 11, 2021
About a year ago, three Philadelphia women upset over a flight delay at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Airport charged Spirit Airlines workers behind the counter and allegedly punched and kicked them as well as tossing objects at them.
Three women hurl objects, attack Spirit Airline employees after flight delay, land in cuffs https://t.co/OsSCYtY4gr
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 16, 2020
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