November 14. A Southwest Airlines employee was hospitalized after allegedly getting punched in the head by an unruly passenger on a flight taking off from the Dallas Love Field airport.
According to the Dallas Police Department, the passenger boarded the flight at 12:40 p.m. on Saturday and had a verbal altercation with an operations agent after being asked to exit the plane. As the passenger was exiting, she allegedly had another verbal argument with a different Southwest Airlines operation agent, who, according to Dallas police, the passenger then punched in the head.
The passenger was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault, according to the Dallas Police Department.
So far this year, the Federal Aviation Administration has reported 5,114 unruly passenger incidents, 73% of which were mask-related. More than 100 reports involved physical assaults, according to a news release last Wednesday.
Unruly passenger cases spiked after the U.S. introduced a mask mandate on airplanes and in airports on Feb. 1. The mandate is set to remain in place until at least Jan. 18.
While the FAA cannot prosecute unruly passengers, it can impose fines to the tune of $37,000 per violation for these cases.
Source: Usa Today