The Southwestern passenger who was seen in a viral video hitting a flight attendant – and breaking two of her teeth – is permanently banned from the airline.
The altercation took place on Sunday, when the anonymous worker approached Vyvianna Quinonez, 28, and her family about not wearing masks after their flight from Sacramento touched down in San Diego.
Southwest flight agent loses teeth after assaulted by passenger, union says
Southwest officials said Quinonez would be banned from the airline in a note to flight attendants, according to USA Today.
“As we communicated previously, we have a process to permanently prevent passengers from traveling on Southwest, and please be aware that the passenger involved in the most recent incident has been advised that she can no longer fly Southwest Airlines.” , Sonya Lacore, Southwest’s vice president of flight operations, wrote in the memo, according to the newspaper.
Quinonez also faces a criminal charge of battery causing serious bodily harm in connection with the incident, the Port of San Diego Police Department said.
“According to witnesses, an altercation between a passenger and a flight attendant took place during the flight. During the altercation, the passenger struck the flight attendant, causing serious injuries, ”a press release from the agency said on Tuesday.
PHOTOS SHOW SOUTHWEST AIRLINES FLIGHT ASSISTANT HANDLED BY PASSENGER
However, a passenger who recorded the brawl said the flight attendant should not have made the confrontation worse or touched the suspect.
“It was so unnecessary. During the first altercation, she said she was going to call the captain, ”said passenger Michelle Manner, who was sitting two rows in front of them, at local Fox 40 station.
Manner claims that instead of doing this, she came back and got her hands on Quinonez.
“Vyvianna had told him three times, that we could hear, ‘Let go of me. Stop touching me. Take your hands off me, “” she told the station.
The flight attendants union, Local 556 of the Transportation Workers Union, first disclosed the incident and the worker’s injuries to USA Today.
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“Last weekend one of our flight attendants was seriously assaulted, resulting in facial injuries and the loss of two teeth,” Lyn Montgomery, president of TWU Local 556 said in the letter, obtained by the newspaper Monday. “Unfortunately, this is just one event among many. ”
The TSA extended guidelines on compulsory mask wearing on planes until September, and said violators will be punished, amid a reported spike in incidents regarding mask compliance.
“We are tackling it with force,” Department of Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayokas said at a press conference on Tuesday, according to the report. “We are not going to tolerate behavior that threatens the well-being of the public (or) employees who are courageously on the front line to facilitate the movement of people who wish to reunite with family and friends. “