The incident occurred during a flight from Sacramento to San Diego on Sunday morning. The airline said the passenger ignored the flight attendant’s instructions before assaulting him.
Michelle Manner shot the video and said the passenger and flight attendant were yelling at each other before the punch was thrown.
New video shows a Southwest Airlines attack that left a flight attendant bloodied and without two teeth.
Manner says the disagreement was over the mask policy and it all got worse.
“You can already tell from the short clip that I have that there was an altercation before this one and that there were some passionate moments that built up,” Manner said. “Again, don’t forgive either of their behavior and they both should have handled it differently and that’s just very unfortunate.
The video shows a male passenger interceding to stop the attack.
The passenger was taken into custody when the flight landed. San Diego authorities have charged Vyvianna Quinonez, 28, with felony battery charges.
Southwest Airlines has banned Quinonez. An airline executive revealed the ban Thursday in a message to employees.
Sonya Lacore, vice president of flight operations at Southwest, told flight attendants the airline has a process to permanently ban passengers and that “the female passenger involved in the most recent incident has been advised that she could no longer fly on Southwest Airlines ”.
In a statement, Southwest Airlines said “We do not tolerate or condone verbal or physical abuse by our flight crew, who are responsible for the safety of our passengers.”
The Dallas-based airline has not disclosed the name of the flight attendant, who was treated at a San Diego hospital and released. Lacore said she had contacted her, “and we will continue to provide her with the support she needs.”
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, in a typical year, the agency sees 100 to 150 formal cases of passenger misbehavior. Since the start of this year, that number has risen to 2,500, including about 1,900 passengers who have refused to comply with the federal mask mandate, according to the FAA.