A Las Vegas man has been arrested and cited following a baffling scene aboard a flight. The man could be seen arguing with the captain, growling at flight attendants and chewing on a face mask.
On Monday, American Airlines Flight 1802 departed Los Angeles, California, bound for Salt Lake City, Utah. At some point during the flight, reports NBC News, a Las Vegas man decided to harass a woman sitting near him. Another passenger witnessed the interaction go down, from NBC News:
“He began by yelling at the Asian woman in front of me to sit down when she was standing to deal with a back issue,” he said. “He proceeded to tell multiple flight attendants that she and her companion ‘didn’t belong here.’ After asking him to calm down the man went into a complete meltdown of racist, sexist and belligerent comments, culminating in his arrest at the gate.”
But it didn’t stop there and they filmed video of the encounter.
The person demanding the unruly passenger take a seat appears to be the captain of the plane. Flight attendants are usually the ones dealing with these sorts of passengers and it’s unclear how the captain got involved. In the video, the passenger could be heard arguing with the captain about whether the plane has landed or not. The captain assures him the the aircraft is still flying. He could also, you know, look out of a window.
The passenger eventually obeys the order and stumbles back to his seat, getting off some ramblings about Joe Biden and cursing out the flight crew on the way there. But that wasn’t the end of it as he began growling like an animal and chewing on his face mask.
As we’ve previously noted, the FAA is trying to crack down on the escalating problem of people getting drunk and being terrible on aircraft. It’s trying to get airport concession stands to stop serving alcohol to go. The regulator is also assessing major fines to unruly passengers but says that these people rarely get criminally charged with anything. That appears to be changing.
Unruly travelers can still face charges and penalties even if they don’t punch a flight attendant. As for this passenger, he was arrested in Salt Lake City and has been cited with public intoxication and disorderly conduct.