Can’t we all just get along? Apparently not, even in an era of empty airports and less-crowded flights. A nasty brawl on American Airlines exposes both old and new challenges onboard flights in the pandemic era.
Another Brawl, This Time On American Airlines
Video has emerged from an American Airlines flights from Las Vegas to Charlotte on Monday. We see two passengers absolutely going at each other, including wrestling, hair pulling, and throwing punches.
According to KABC, an ABC affiliate in Las Vegas, the fight was over a seat assignment. That seems speculatory to me.
According to onlookers, the woman in pink was eventually escorted off the flight by police before it took off.
American Airlines has not released a statement on the incident (I’ve asked).
The Era Of Difficulty
I notice the flight looks fairly full. Perhaps the incident is related to social distancing or lack of respect for the personal space of others. Maybe it was over overhead bin space.
But there’s no need to speculate about that, for I want to talk more generally for a moment.
Yes, travel is dramatically down, but there are still hundreds of thousands of people traveling each day. It seems to me that most people are unaware–until they arrive–that they really need to prepare for their travel like never before. Most airport concessions remained closed. Food is not available onboard on either a complimentary or for-purchase basis beyond small care packages which hardly account for a snack, let alone a meal.
Airlines and airports should do a better job of letting passengers know that they need to prepare for their flights by bringing snacks from home. That will lessen tensions.
I’m drawing a correlation that may not actually exist. But even with emptier airports, shorter security lines, and less crowded flights, being stuck–sometimes for hours–with no viable food or drink options is bound to ratchet up stress.
How do you prepare for your flight in an era with limited service onboard?
Per Fox News, the brawl was over face masks. Apparently the woman in pink refused to wear one…
— Caryn Ross (@SuperSassyMama) August 17, 2020
American Airlines has also weighed in:
“On Monday, a customer on American Airlines Flight 1665 with service from Las Vegas to Charlotte failed to comply with our mandatory face-covering policy after boarding the aircraft prior to departure. In accordance with our policy, the customer was subsequently asked to leave the aircraft and became disruptive, resulting in an altercation with other passengers.”
So much for my theory…
image: Tomás Del Coro / Wikimedia Commons