A flight attendant and a federal air marshal were allegedly assaulted by a passenger aboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles in yet another mask mandate fuelled air rage incident.
Delta flight DL342 was forced to divert to Oklahoma City on Thursday night so that the suspect could be taken into custody before continuing onto Los Angeles around two hours later.
Tiffany Shepis-Tretta was a passenger onboard the flight traveling home to Los Angeles after attending the national gun violence vigil in D.C. with her daughter. Tiffany said the flight diverted after passengers started fighting.
“Not at all what my daughter with PTSD coming back from the National gun violence vigil needed,” Tiffany wrote on Twitter.
Another passenger claimed the incident started because the suspect was drunk and “couldn’t hold his liquor”.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Arthur Gregory told Axios that the suspect assaulted a flight attendant and when a federal air marshal intervened, the suspect assaulted the marshal.
Gregory said the marshal and flight attendants aboard the flight managed to wrestle the suspect into the handcuffs while the flight diverted to Oklahoma City.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says unruly passenger incidents have started to slow after the agency took a zero-tolerance approach to disruptive passengers in response to a worrisome surge in incidents.
The FAA has urged law enforcement agencies to prosecute unruly passengers and has issued more than $1 million in civil penalties against alleged troublemakers.
Delta Air Lines would like U.S.-based airlines to share details of unruly passengers as part of an industry-led ‘No Fly’ list which would mean that a travel ban from one airline would be a travel ban from every airline.
Other airlines haven’t yet pursued the idea but the Department of Transportation is considering creating its own No Fly list for unruly 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.