Southwest Airlines flight attendant loses two teeth after being attacked by passenger when landing in San Diego
A flight attendant for Southwest Airlines was assaulted by a passenger during a flight to San Diego. A union president revealed the attacked attendant lost two teeth in the confrontation.
How did it all happen?
The incident was brought to the attention of the airline’s CEO by a letter from a union leader asking for action to be taken to stop unruly passengers.
"From April 8 to May 15, there were 477 passenger misconduct incidents on Southwest Airlines aircraft,” Lyn Montgomery, the president of the Transport Workers Union of America Local 556, wrote to CEO Gary Kelly on Monday, as reported by NBC News.
“The unprecedented number of incidents has reached an intolerable level, with passenger non-compliance events also becoming more aggressive in nature,” Montgomery added.
The union president explained that during the weekend a flight attendant was “seriously assaulted, resulting in injuries to the face and a loss of two teeth.”
What was the reaction from Southwest Airlines?
The statement released by Southwest Airlines said a passenger on a flight that took off Sunday morning from Sacramento, California, to San Diego “repeatedly ignored standard in-flight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing.”
Law enforcement took over the passenger and the person was arrested after the plane landed.
“We do not condone or tolerate verbal or physical abuse of our Flight Crews, who are responsible for the safety of our passengers,” the statement added.
Montgomery emphasized in her letter that the airline company “has the responsibility of being front and center on this matter.”
“Flight Attendants are doing all they can do to ensure compliance while creating a safe environment for all passengers and crew, but they also need the support and tools required to prevent injury to ourselves and others,” she continued, according to the news outlet.
What did the union president request to make sure safety comes first?
Montgomery believes crew members have to be given the "benefit of the doubt" by management if an in-flight confrontation occurs.
The president also requested that Southwest Airlines puts in place a restricted travelers list for passengers who misbehave.
“No passenger should be removed from one flight only to be permitted to board the very next Southwest Airlines flight after a non-compliance incident. We ask that you take a strong stance to ensure that unruly passengers are not welcome to travel with us, period, full stop,” she wrote.
“Flight Crews must feel safe and supported when reporting to work,” Montgomery concluded after the Sand Diego incident.