Flight attendant assaulted by passenger on American Airlines flight

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An American Airlines flight attendant was physically assaulted by an unruly passenger on Wednesday, according to airline officials.

The incident happened on American Airlines Flight 377 with service from San José del Cabo, Mexico, to Los Angeles International Airport. Police found the flight at the gate and removed the rebel individual, according to a statement from American Airlines.

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Video posted on social media shows an individual approaching a flight attendant towards the front of the plane and punching the flight attendant with an audible gasp from passengers who witnessed the incident.

“Acts of violence against our team members are not tolerated by American Airlines,” the airline’s statement reads.

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“The individual involved in this incident will never be able to travel with us in the future, and we will work closely with authorities in their investigation.”

The passenger on that flight was arrested, confirmed Ciaran McEvoy, public information officer for the Central California District of the United States Attorney’s Office. McEvoy added that his office is consulting with the FBI. No other information was provided.

THE CNN contacted the FBI and Los Angeles World Airports Police for more information.

“We thank our crew for their swift action and professionalism in ensuring the safety of their teammates and customers on board,” reads the American Airlines statement.

“Our thoughts are with our injured flight attendant and we are assuring her and her crewmates have the support they need at this time.”

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), a union that represents more than 24,000 American Airlines flight attendants, condemned the passenger’s behavior.

“This violent behavior jeopardizes the safety of all passengers and crew and must stop,” said Julie Hedrick, APFA national president, in a statement.

“APFA fully supports the affected crew members and will do everything possible to ensure the passenger is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Measures in place to deal with unruly passengers

In January 2021, the Federation Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a “zero tolerance” policy for unruly passenger behavior that ignores warnings or advice and goes straight to penalties, which can include hefty fines and prison.

A New York City woman was recently sentenced to four months in prison for interfering with flight crew members for an incident that occurred aboard an American Airlines flight in February 2021.

The FAA has proposed $5 million in fines against unruly passengers in 2021.

So far in 2022, there have been 1,973 reports of unruly passengers, according to the FAA.

The number of reported incidents of unruly passenger behavior has declined since 2021, which was a record year for unruly passenger behavior. The FAA recorded nearly 6,000 reports of unruly behavior in 2021.

While the number of reported incidents has decreased, the number of cases where enforcement action has been initiated has increased. So far, in 2022, there have been 468 execution processes started. In 2021, there were 350.

Source: CNN Brasil

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