- A new video emerged showing the moment a Southwest Airlines passenger assaulted a flight attendant.
- The flight attendant, seen bleeding in the video, lost two teeth as a result of the altercation.
- The FAA said it’s been seeing a spike of aggressive behavior on airlines in recent months.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A new video has emerged of the moment a Southwest Airlines passenger punched a flight attendant in the face, knocking two of her teeth out.
The incident occurred on a flight from Sacramento to San Diego on May 23 after a woman, identified as 28-year-old Vyvianna Quinonez, “repeatedly ignored standard in-flight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing,” a spokesperson for the airlines told Insider.
The video shows Quinonez, sitting in an aisle seat at the back of the plane, jumping up and hitting the flight attendant multiple times as onlookers scream. The 28-year-old keeps swinging until another male passenger intervenes, putting himself in between her and the flight attendant.
Read more: Inside Southwest Airlines’ legendary culture
“Don’t you dare touch a flight attendant like that,” the man yells at Quinonez, who sits back down. Behind him, the shocked flight attendant is seen wiping her face as a streak of blood runs down her cheek.
Watch the moment below:
-CBS News (@CBSNews) May 27, 2021
Upon landing, Quinonez was taken into police custody and has been charged with felony battery, USA Today reported. A Southwest spokesperson told NBC News Friday that she is banned from ever flying with the airline again.
The flight attendant, who has been kept anonymous, was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital for treatment.
“We do not condone or tolerate verbal or physical abuse of our Flight Crews, who are responsible for the safety of our passengers,” a Southwest spokesperson told Insider, adding that the company is working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to improve safety measures for flight attendants and passengers.
Earlier this month, the FAA said it was seeing a spike of unruly and aggressive behavior on airlines. The agency proposed fines of up to $15,000 for five passengers accused of interfering with and assaulting flight attendants.
Southwest Airlines said on Friday it will not resume alcohol services on board until the end of July following the recent surge in in-flight disruptions.
“Given the recent uptick in industry-wide incidents of passenger disruptions inflight, we have made the decision to pause the previously announced re-start of alcohol service onboard June (Hawaii flights) and July,” a Southwest spokesman said.
Even though the CDC lifted the mask mandate for fully vaccinated people in many spaces, customers are still required to wear masks on commercial flights.