Man hits crew member in the back of the head.
An economy class passenger was arrested after hitting an American Airlines flight attendant in the back of the head because he was denied access to the first class bathroom.
Flight AA377 was en route from San José del Cabo International Airport to Los Angeles when the incident occurred.
Alexander Tung Cuu Le, 33, of Westminster, California, reportedly got into a heated argument with the crew member, prompting other passengers to videotape the pair.
When the stewardess turned her back on Le and walked to the front of the plane, Le ran up to him and punched him in the back of the head.
Le was arrested upon arrival at LAX and charged with interfering with a flight crew, which can result in 20 years in prison if convicted.
“American Airlines does not tolerate acts of violence against our team members,” the airline said in a statement.
“The person involved in this incident will never be able to travel with us in the future, and we will work closely with law enforcement in their investigation.”
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, a union representing some 24,000 flight attendants at American Airlines, said in a statement that “this violent behavior endangers the safety of all passengers and crew and must stop.”
The number of unruly passenger cases spiked earlier during the pandemic, especially as flight attendants had to enforce the now-dropped federal mask-wearing mandate.
According to figures from the Federal Aviation Administration, airlines reported nearly 2,000 incidents involving unruly passengers this year, up from nearly 6,000 last year, even with a 38% increase in US air passengers.
The video shows an unruly passenger attendant during a flight to LAX pic.twitter.com/Kz9L86YbPj
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