Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic more than two years ago, the airline industry has been one of the industries most hit by the lockdowns and passengers’ inability to travel. As countries started to reopen and people started traveling again, an increasing trend in incidents at airports and planes across the country was recorded.
Airlines were forced to enforce mask mandates for both passengers and employees in addition to other strict pandemic measures all in an effort to keep everyone safe during traveling. Because of the rising number of incidents on planes and at airports, the FAA last year announced a zero-tolerance policy that skips warnings and goes directly to penalties. That policy stays in place until the federal mask mandate goes away.
Last year was the worst on record for bad passengers. There were nearly 6,000 reports of unruly passengers last year and 4,200 of them were mask related. But it looks like this trend continues this year as dozens of incidents were reported since the start of the year of which one incident happened few days ago when a passenger attacked airline employee after he was escorted off plane and the attack was caught on video.
According to CBS46, the incident happened last Tuesday in the evening hours at a Georgia airport when an unnamed Black passenger attacked an airline worker for no apparent reason. The report claims the Nevada passenger failed to comply with the flight attendants as the plane was getting ready for take-off. The plane had already left the gate and was on its way to the tarmac. Because of his behavior, the pilot turned the plane around and went back to the gate.
Once the passenger was escorted off of the plane, he threatened a Southwest Airlines employee several times and ultimately aggressively assaulted him in front of several other employees. The incident was caught on video which went viral across the social media networks once posted online. Shortly after the incident, the passenger tried to attack the same employee again, but further escalation was prevented by the other Southwest Airlines employees. Shortly after the incident, officers arrived at the gate and arrested the aggressive passenger who was later charged with simple battery and battery and obstruction.
Earlier this week, Southwest Airlines confirmed the passenger, later identified as the 44-year-old C. Drummond, has been permanently banned by the airline and he will not be able to use the airline’s services in the future. Additionally, the airline sent the following statement to FOX 5:
We have zero tolerance for any type of assault against our Employees or Customers. As a result of this inexcusable attack, the individual has been banned from flying with Southwest Airlines. We commend the quick actions of the Southwest Team who responded to protect their colleagues during this unacceptable event. We also appreciate the local law enforcement officers who responded to assist, and we will fully support their investigation.
The video can be seen on Youtube on this link.