Man punches crew member in the back of the head.
A economy class passenger was arrested after he punched an American Airlines flight attendant in the back of the head because he was denied access to the first class toilet.
Flight AA377 was making its way from San José del Cabo International Airport to Los Angeles when the incident took place.
According to reports, Alexander Tung Cuu Le, 33, of Westminster, California, got into a heated argument with the crew member prompting other passengers to video record the pair.
As the flight attendant turned his back to Le and walked towards the front of the plane, Le ran up to him and punched the back of his head.
Le was arrested upon arrival at LAX and charged with interfering with a flight crew, which can lead to 20 years in prison if convicted.
“Acts of violence against our team members are not tolerated by American Airlines,” the airline said in a statement.
“The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with us in the future, and we will work closely with law enforcement in their investigation.”
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, a union that represents about 24,000 flight attendants at American Airlines, said in a statement that “this violent behavior puts the safety of all passengers and crew in jeopardy and must stop.”
The number of unruly passenger cases spiked earlier during the pandemic, especially as flight attendants had to enforce the now-dropped federal mask mandate.
According to Federal Aviation Administration figures, airlines have reported nearly 2,000 incidents involving unruly passengers this year, down from nearly 6,000 last year even with a 38% increase in US air travellers.
Video shows unruly passenger punch attendant during LAX-bound flight pic.twitter.com/Kz9L86YbPj
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