This is when a wild brawl erupted on Sunday night between two passengers trying to get off a plane at Miami International Airport – just the latest in more than 3,000 violent incidents reported on air travel since January.
Kiera Pierre Louis, who goes by her hip-hop name Milli Miami, recorded the entire incident, which erupted when a Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia landed in Miami around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
She said Local 10 News the white man got mad at the black passenger because he thought it was taking him too long to get his luggage out of the overhead bin and blocking his way out.
The white man then delivered the first blow, she said, calling the black passenger the “n” word.
“I couldn’t believe what was going on,” she said. “You can see the white man on top of the black passenger and just beat him up between the seats,” she said.
“The flight attendant got involved, the white man’s wife got involved, his son, I believe his son’s girlfriend, er, everyone was involved.”
She also noted that the white man who allegedly started the fight was allowed to leave the plane, while the black man was told to stay behind.
“Racism, of course,” Pierre Louis claimed. “The black passenger had to wait in the plane, when he didn’t even start it, and the police walked right past the person, the white man, who actually initiated everything as we exited the plane.”
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Video posted to Instagram shows the moment a white passenger pushed a black passenger into the seat of a Frontier Airlines plane as passengers tried to disembark Sunday night
A black woman and a white woman, believed to be the husbands’ wives, became involved, with the black woman trying to grab the white man while the white woman pulled her hair
Finally, a group of other passengers and a flight attendant managed to pull the white man from the black man and force him down the aisle
However, Miami-Dade police said the black passenger “wasn’t stopped,” but instead chose to stay on the plane so he could file a police report.
In the end, they said, he decided not to press charges and allowed the white man who allegedly started the brawl to leave.
The nearly three-minute video shows two men arguing when a white man suddenly grabs a black man and pushes him into the chair. A black woman then seems to get involved and starts attacking a white woman, who grabs her by the hair when a flight attendant asks what happened.
The white man meanwhile continues to beat the black man, causing the black woman to grab the white man by the head while people try to pull him off the black man.
In the end, several other passengers and a flight attendant were able to get the white man from the black man and push him forward to get off the plane.
The black man could be seen trying to follow him, but the black woman seemed to stop him, while others on the plane yelled at him to “get off.”
The incident reportedly took place on a Frontier Airlines flight that landed in Miami from Philadelphia around 9:30 p.m. Sunday night
FAA fines for unruly passengers reach $682,000
With nine cases of unruly passengers reported earlier this month, totaling $119,000 in fines, the agency has collected a total of $682,000 since the beginning of the year.
- $21,500 for a passenger on a December 2020 Frontier Airlines flight from Nashville to Orlando
- $18,500 for a passenger on a February 19 Republic Airlines flight from Indianapolis to Philadelphia
- $17,000 to a passenger on a January 25 Frontier Airlines flight from St. Louis, Missouri to Las Vegas
- $13,000 to a passenger on a January 29 Frontier Airlines flight from San Diego to Las Vegas
- $10,500 to a passenger on a February 27 Allegiant Air flight from Provo, Utah to Mesa, Arizona
- $10,500 to a passenger on a January 23 Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Ketchikan
- $10,500 to a passenger on a Dec. 19 Allegiant Air flight from Syracuse, New York to Punta Gorda, Florida
- $10,000 to a passenger on a February 19 Republic Airlines flight from Indianapolis to Philadelphia
- $7,500 for a passenger on a February 25 Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Los Angeles
Frontier Airlines referred all questions about the incident to the Miami-Dade Police Department, but confirmed in a statement to Local 10 News that a fight broke out on its flight from Philadelphia to Miami.
“All affected passengers were requested to remain on the plane, but some ignored the instructions of the flight crew,” the statement said. “In the end, the local police got involved.”
Sunday’s battle is just the latest in a series of violent incidents documented at terminals and on planes since air traffic resumed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced in June that airlines have reported more than 3,000 incidents involving unruly passengers since January 1, with about 76 percent of nearly 3,300 reports involving passengers refusing to wear masks on board their flights.
It has accumulated $682,000 in these fines since the new regulations went into effect.
While the FAA agency has not tracked such reports in previous years, a spokesperson said it was safe to assume this year’s numbers are the highest on record.
Since the FAA announced a “zero tolerance policy” against unruly passengers in January, the FAA has disclosed potential fines — some in excess of $30,000 — against more than 80 passengers. to FAA numbers.
In one case last month, a 29-year-old woman was arrested and charged with aggravated assault while trying to check in for another Frontier Airlines flight with her two children at Orlando International Airport and hitting an employee with a keyboard.
And in May, a young woman on a plane in southwestern San Diego, California punched a flight attendant in the face. She was charged with misdemeanor battery.
As a result of these violent incidents, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it will resume self-defense training for airline flight attendants and pilots, which were halted last year due to the pandemic.
The FAA has reported an increase in violent incidents at airports and aboard aircraft as more people begin to travel as the COVID pandemic subsides. People were seen here waiting in line for TSA screening at Orlando International Airport, where a Frontier Airlines employee was attacked by an unruly passenger last month.
Following these violent incidents, certain airlines have also decided to ban the sale of alcohol on their flights.
In May, American Airlines officials announced that they would not continue serving alcohol to passengers in the main cabins until September, having seen that “some of these stressors cause very distressing situations on board aircraft.”
Flight Service Vice President Brady Byrnes added, “Let me be clear: American Airlines will not tolerate assault or assault on our crews.”
“While we appreciate that customers and crew members are eager to return to ‘normal’, we will act with caution and considered in restoring pre-COVID practices.”
American Airlines stopped selling alcohol in the economy in late March 2020 to limit interaction between passengers and flight attendants during the pandemic. The airline now says the ban will remain in effect until Sept. 13, the same date the Transportation Security Administration plans to lift the mask mandate on all flights.
Southwest Airlines has also decided to discontinue its plans to return to selling alcohol to customers as the COVID pandemic eases.
“Given the recent rise in the number of in-flight passenger disruption incidents across the industry, we have made the decision to pause the previously announced restart of alcohol service,” said Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz.
Mainz said the decision could disappoint some customers, “but we believe this is the right decision at the moment in the interest of the safety and comfort of all customers and crew on board.”
The airline has not set new dates for alcohol sales.