An American Airlines flight diverted to Phoenix after two female travelers cursed out then spit on a man who told them to stop using foul, racist language.
American Airlines Flight Diversion Over Racist Passengers
Kelly Pichardo, 30, and Leeza Rodriguez, 29, were traveling from Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) to Los Angeles (LAX) on Wednesday on AA776. But they ended up in Phoenix (PHX), where, according to American Airlines, police “removed and arrested two individuals for verbally and physically assaulting other customers and flight crew members.”
Pichardo and Rodriguez were using racial slurs onboard (the specifics were not identified). Another passenger told them to stop. They responded by cursing out the passenger then spitting on him. The crew intervened and were also verbally assaulted. As a result, the captain opted to divert to Phoenix.
A Phoenix police spokesperson offered additional details:
“Kelly Pichardo became upset and allegedly spit at the male passenger who had asked her to stop using that language. The male passenger then began to record the two women and that is when Leeza Rodriguez struck the man’s hand to keep him from recording the incident.”
Both passengers were charged with disorderly conduct and Pichardo also faces an assault charge.
American Airlines called the conduct “disturbing and unacceptable,” adding:
“We continue to investigate this incident and are working directly with impacted customers to ensure their well-being. We thank our crew members for their professionalism in managing a difficult situation.”
The ladies also face a large fine from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration under its new zero-tolerance policy for flight disturbances. American Airlines also confirmed that it banned the two passengers from future travel on AA.
This was really disgusting behavior. I hope the two ladies will receive more than a slap on the wrist for their poor behavior onboard.
image: Glenn Beltz / Flickr