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The Independent

Spirit Airlines passenger slaps gate agent after being denied boarding

By Natalie Wilson,


A woman has been arrested after allegedly slapping a Spirit Airlines employee when she was denied boarding onto a flight.

Tearaney Burroughs faces assault charges following the altercation that escalated after she was turned away from gate E-3 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for being “too intoxicated” on the evening of 11 May, Fox 5 Atlanta reports.

In the latest violent incident at the world’s busiest airport , gate officers said the woman was so angry to be refused entry that she slapped the Spirit Airlines employee in the face in an attempt to force her way past.

Parts of the aftermath of the encounter were captured on police bodycam in clips shared by Atlanta Police Department .

According to the Atlanta Police Department incident report, officers were dispatched after reports that a woman was “trying to push her way through the gates and onto the jet bridge.” She was later arrested and taken to Clayton County Jail.

The Spirit Airlines employee was not seriously injured.

In a statement to Fox5 Atlanta , former Clayton County solicitor Keith Martin said: “ Let’s rename the gate agent. Call them gatekeepers because they are absolutely the last line of defence in keeping someone off the plane who may cause trouble."

Tory MP Gareth Johnson recently proposed legislation to ban violent passengers from flying as incidents involving disorderly travellers increase in the UK.

The Independent has contacted Spirit Airlines and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for further comment.

It follows a passenger brawl with Spirit Airlines gate agents in Philadelphia this February after a fight broke out over additional baggage fees .

Last month, a fight at the Atlanta airport went viral after an intoxicated woman claiming to be pregnant was arrested for allegedly attacking a Spirit Airlines employee when she was unable to board her flight.

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