For a much-needed break from mask-related travel misbehavior, we turn to Spirit Airlines. Yet the matter is no joke: two gate agents were seriously injured in a nasty attack arising from a carry-on dispute.
Spirit Airlines Gate Agents Attacked Over Carry-On Dispute
The incident occurred in Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) and involved three passengers and two gate agents. While attempting to board Flight 646 to Atlanta, “Three passengers attacked our agents without provocation” according to a Spirit Airlines spokesperson.
Even a decade after introducing carry-on fees, Spirit’s education campaign continues to lag. Customers accustomed to complimentary larger carry-on items on other carriers are often shocked when hit with carry-on fees at the airport that are even more expensive than baggage fees. Here, the gate agents asked the three passengers to place their carry-on items in a sizer in the boarding gate area.
Spirit Airlines charges for larger carry-on items on a rolling basis and those who pay at the gate face the highest fee, currently $65 per item. Spirit says this is to dissuade selfish people from slowing down the boarding process and delaying the flight, but many honest people have learned of carry-on fees for the first time when trying to board.
Here, the passengers were shocked when they were told their carry-on items were too large. But despite efforts by the gate agents to defuse the situation (according to Spirit Airlines), the opposite occurred and the agents were “physically assaulted” by the men. One was even taken to a hospital after the attack.
Video below shows the tangle, with a baby pulled away just one time. No masks either.
Two passengers were arrested while one was cited and released. All three have been banned from Spirit Airlines.
A Spirt Airlines spokesperson added:
“All of us at Spirit wish the agents a speedy recovery and thank them for their courage and professionalism. We also thank law enforcement for responding quickly and arresting those involved in the attack. This violent behavior is completely unacceptable and has absolutely no place in airports or any other place of business. We will not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind and these passengers will be banned from any future travel with Spirit. Further questions about this incident should be referred to law enforcement.”
Amen, Spirt…this violent behavior is completely unacceptable.
While I don’t have a problem with Spirit’s a la carte approach to travel, I do have a problem with its failure to educate its customers about how it charges for carry-on fees. Nevertheless, even righteous anger does not excuse physical assault. The passengers should face harsh fines and flight bans for their poor behavior.