<p>A Spirit aircraft on the tarmac in Fort Lauderdale</p>

A Spirit aircraft on the tarmac in Fort Lauderdale

Drunk woman restrained with cable ties on flight after attacking flight attendants

Passenger shouted ‘shoot me’ at police during arrest

Lucy Thackray
Monday 29 November 2021 10:57
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A woman was restrained with cable ties on a US flight on Saturday night after attacking two members of the cabin crew, punching one and pulling the other’s hair, according to staff reports.

The Spirit Airlines flight had left Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 6pm for Nashville.

Crew contacted police on the ground before landing, who arrived to arrest the passenger for public intoxication shortly after, reports WZTV Nashville.

According to a police affidavit, the woman shouted at officers, “Shoot me”, and, “I didn’t do anything wrong”, before being escorted from the aircraft, where she resisted getting into the police car by stiffening her legs.

In the affidavit, airline staff told officers that the passenger had become aggressive, physically attacking two members of the crew, with another passenger having to restrain her legs with cable ties before the flight touched down.

According to the affidavit, the 42-year-old woman appeared drunk, with bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, and confirmed to officers that she had drunk “a lot”.

Spirit Airlines spokesperson Nicole Aguiar confirmed the removal of an unruly passenger in an email, but declined to confirm details, saying: “We do not tolerate aggressive behavior of any kind, and this passenger is no longer welcome on any of our flights.”

This is the latest in a string of troubling inflight incidents of disruptive behaviour, many of them sparked by alcohol consumption or disagreements over mask-wearing rules on flights.

Last week the US’s Federal Aviation Administration released details of several hefty fines issued to unruly passengers, many of them arrested in incidents involving alcohol.

One passenger was given a proposed fine of $40,000 after they allegedly drank their own alcohol on a flight before sexually assaulting a crew member and smoking marijuana in the plane toilet.

Another flyer “drank alcohol that the airline did not serve to him” and “urinated on the lavatory floor, verbally abused the flight crew and refused to follow crew instructions to wear a facemask,” resulting in a suggested $24,000 fine.

The FAA also said it had received 300 reports of “passenger disturbances due to alcohol and intoxication” since the beginning of the year.

Two US airlines, Southwest and American, have banned alcohol on their flights until January, to coincide with the country’s federal mask mandate, which means passengers have to wear face masks on all flights and in all airports until at least 18 January 2022.

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