Many airline passengers are proving to be a formidable force of stupid this year as yet another fight has broken out on a flight. This time, passengers got into a brawl over something being put into a seatback pocket. Seriously.
On Friday, Delta flight 412 was scheduled to depart Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at 7:15 am, bound for Los Angeles. But before the flight could even finish boarding a pair of passengers got into a scuffle for quite possibly the dumbest reason, NBC News reports. Police say that one passenger put an item in the seatback pocket in front of him, causing the passenger sitting in that seat to get upset and eventually violent. I’m pretty sure you can guess what happened next:
Yep, a guy got a bloody face just because he placed something in a seatback pocket.
The fight took place not even 48 hours after a passenger on an American Airlines flight punched a flight attendant. I feel bad for a passenger in the background, who reportedly expressed frustration that they already missed an earlier flight.
Cases of unruly and violent passengers are hitting ridiculous numbers this year. The FAA is trying to curb the bad behavior with hefty fines and some people are even seeing jail time for their actions.
How bad is it? As of October 26 the FAA has received 4,941 reports of unruly passengers, 3,580 mask-related incidents and has launched 923 investigations. Compare that to 2020, when the administration launched only 183 investigations. NBC News notes that in the 26 years going back to 1995, the prior most amount of investigations was 310 back in 2004.
It seems the threat of paying the value of multiple Ford Mavericks and going to jail is helping, but people still can’t keep their hands to themselves. Thankfully, while the numbers look bad, the FAA says that they amount to just six incidents every 10,000 flights.
In the case of Delta flight 412, another passenger had to restrain the man that started the fight until police arrived. The assailant was escorted from the aircraft and were said to be uncooperative with authorities before allegedly damaging a police car, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. They face charges of battery for the fight and interference with government property for damaging the police car.
The passenger frustrated about missing an earlier flight was probably happy that the brawl on the ground didn’t impact the flight too much. Flight 412 departed only 31 minutes late after removing the passenger that started the fight.