COVID-19

‘Worst ever seen’: Covid-19 rules spark global plane rage

Mid-air meltdowns, tirades, and physical scuffles can occur for a variety of reasons during boarding and flight, especially after excessive alcohol or drug consumption, inequality in seating arrangements, dissatisfaction with service, or psychological disturbances.But plane rage is spiking these days for other reasons and the problem appears to be getting worse, according to experts.So far this year, the US Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed it received almost 3000 reports of unruly passenger in-flight behaviour.“If you talked with some flight attendants, they would certainly say this is the worst we’ve ever seen it,” Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA told The Washington Post. “It’s pervasive. There is constant conflict on board.”With the climate of travel already tense as passengers return to travel en-masse, a majority of flight rage cases involve anger and anxiety about enforced mask wearing, or other rules related to coronavirus.Flight attendant punched in face over mask rulesSouthwest Airlines said it has permanently banned a female passenger who is accused of repeatedly punching a flight attendant in the face during service on a flight from Sacramento to San Diego. A flight from Sacramento to San Diego erupted into violence when a passenger attacked a flight attendant over mask rules.Vyvianna Quinonez, 28, was arrested on suspicion of battery causing serious bodily injury after the incident on Southwest Airlines Flight 700 on 23 May.Video obtained shows the female passenger leaping into the aisle and the female flight attendant being struck in the face multiple times by the woman before a male passenger intervene. The female passenger is then shown leaving the aircraft with her carry-on luggage.The airline has extended its ban on alcohol due to the recent surge in in-flight disruptions by passengers.Frontier Airlines removes Jewish family from flight A flight from Miami to New York City was grounded on Sunday, 28 February after passengers protested the removal of an Orthodox Jewish family by airline staff. The family, including a man wearing a black hat and sidelocks, and a woman wearing a wig or Sheitel, can be seen in the rear of the plane and moving up the aisle. A woman starts clapping and calls out, “They’re leaving!” A flight from Miami to New York was cancelled on Sunday, February 28, after passengers protested the removal of an Orthodox Jewish family by airline staff. The airline said the family’s removal was due to breaches of the airline’s mask policy.The airline said the family’s removal was due to breaches of the airline’s mask policy but somebody filming the incident says over the video as they film the disruption, “You’re all going to suffer the consequences of this.”Another passenger can be heard calling out, “This is like Nazi Germany!”Woman who unleashed anti-mask tirade removed by police Upon landing in Washington D.C, passengers aboard an American Airlines flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, cheered when police removed a woman who had been filmed ranting furiously against mask-wearing.“If we don’t stand up, it’s only going to get worse,” the woman can be heard shouting.Footage posted to Twitter by Emir Sfaxi showed police escorting the woman from the plane, as passengers clapped. Upon landing in Washington, passengers aboard an American Airlines flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, applauded when police removed a woman who was filmed getting angry when asked to wear a mask on-board. Footage from Emir Sfaxi shows the woman, wearing the mask below her nose and mouth, shouting aboard the plane. “If we don’t stand up, it’s only going to get worse,” the woman can be heard shouting. She then is filmed sitting back down and pushing the mask up on her face. Sfaxi wrote: “Tonight this lady refused to wear her mask aboard the @AmericanAir flight from Charlotte NC towards #WashingtonDC DCA. She was yelling and gave a speech about ‘tyranny’. The passengers in neighbouring rows moved. She calmed down when officers in civilian outfit intervened #COVID-19”. Sfaxi posted additional footage showing police escorting the woman from the plane, as the passengers around them clap. In a statement to Storyful, American Airlines confirmed the incident, writing: “The flight crew on board American flight 2198 reported a customer disturbance while en route from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Following multiple requests to comply with mandatory face covering requirements, one passenger stood up and began yelling at flight attendants and surrounding customers. Federal Air Marshals intervened to help de-escalate and maintain control of the situation for the duration of the flight. The aircraft landed without further incident and was met on arrival by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police.” The woman has been placed on an internal refuse list pending further investigation, the statement said. Credit: Emir Sfaxi via StoryfulIn a statement, American Airlines said: “Following multiple requests to comply with mandatory face covering requirements, one passenger stood up and began yelling at flight attendants and surrounding customers. Federal Air Marshals intervened to help de-escalate and maintain control of the situation for the duration of the flight. The aircraft landed without further incident and was met on arrival by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police.” The woman has been placed on an internal refuse list pending further investigation, the statement said. Off-duty flight attendant has breakdown, tries to take down planeA Delta flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta was diverted to Oklahoma after an unruly passenger allegedly made terroristic threats and assaulted two flight attendants, according to police.The suspect, Stephon Jamar Duncan, allegedly said he was going to take down the plane, according to Oklahoma City police, as he attempted to storm the cockpit.Passengers on board a Delta Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta helped to subdue an unruly passenger who was reportedly trying to open the aircraft’s door mid-air and who caused the flight to be diverted to Oklahoma City on June 11.After Duncan allegedly assaulted two flight attendants, an off-duty pilot and two passengers helped subdue him, according to a local ABC News affiliate. Delta Airlines said crew and passengers on-board flight 1730 also helped overpower the suspect.Darren Genet, a passenger on the flight, said: “We’re holding him down and he was screaming and crying … It was pretty scary. We were just really fortunate that we were able to get this guy down.”Duncan was arrested and taken to a hospital after reporting chest pains and exhibiting signs of mental health issues, police said.It comes as the US Transportation Security Administration screened more than two million people at airport security checkpoints last weekend, the most since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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