Shocking video footage has emerged of a jetBlue flight attendant being assaulted by an unruly passenger after a profanity-laden rant aboard a New York-bound plane. The incident, which occurred on Tuesday 20th February, took place on jetBlue flight 1224 which had been due to depart Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
According to data from Flightradar 24, the Airbus A321 jet was still taxiing for a 9.06pm departure when the Captain was forced to return to the gate following the assault and disruptive behaviour.
The flight was delayed some 6-hours as authorities arrested the assailant and dealt with the incident. Passenger’s eventually reached their destination at 11.20am on 21st February. The extent of the injuries to the flight attendant isn’t yet known and it’s still unclear whether he was able to continue working on the flight.
However, in a statement addressing the incident, a spokesperson for jetBlue said the airline “commend our crewmembers for their professionalism in handling the situation.”
Explaining what happened, the emailed statement continued:
“On Wednesday, February 21, JetBlue flight 1224 from Los Angeles to New York-JFK returned to the gate following reports of a disruptive customer on board. Authorities met the aircraft and customers later continued on to New York without further incident.”
“The safety of our customers and crewmembers is our top priority.”
The roughly five-minute video appears to have been recorded by a passenger sat just a few rows back from where the drama was unfolding. The flight attendant can be seen standing in the aisle close to the disruptive passenger as he is heard shouting and swearing.
The suspect screams “Let go of my f**king arm” and “Get off of me” as profanities ring out throughout the cabin. Much of the alleged assailents ire is directed towards the flight attendant who appears to be trying to calm him down.
It’s not entirely clear what led to the passenger acting in this way in the first place but he can be heard to clearly shout: “Why are we still in the f**king airport… Damn, I hate planes. I get high as s**t.”
Passengers onboard the flight have said the passenger managed to break out of a pair of handcuffs to then stand up and punch the flight attendant across the side of the face. Other cabin staff come running to his aid – demanding the passenger sit down before one flight attendant even calls on the help of fellow passengers to help restrain him
Luckily, this incident took place on the ground and law enforcement officers were quickly on the scene to arrest and detain the suspect. We’ve reached out to the Los Angeles World Airports police department for further information but haven’t received a response at the time of publication.
jetBlue is a New York-based low-cost airline which was founded in 2000 by David Neeleman. The airline is now the sixth largest in the United States with a 243 strong all-Airbus fleet of aircraft. JetBlue has won rave reviews for its Mint business class product and complimentary in-flight amenities even for economy class passengers.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.