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Incidents

“What Is Wrong With You?” Fistfight Erupts on SWA Flight

“What Is Wrong With You?” Fistfight Erupts on SWA Flight
Jeff Edwards

A Southwest Airlines flight arriving in Burbank became the scene of the just latest ugly incident in commercial aviation news when two passengers became embroiled in a violent brawl.

A disagreement between two Southwest Airlines passengers turned violent on Sunday moments after a flight from Dallas Love Field (DAL) arrived at Burbank Bob Hope Airport (BUR). The frenzied fisticuffs sent nearby travelers scrambling to escape – even as flight attendants and other flyers tried desperately to break up the brutal flight.

The two combatants had reportedly been arguing shortly before the altercation suddenly turned physical. A cellphone video of the incident posted on social media shows the pair apparently jostling for position in the aisle before one man pulled the other over onto a row of unoccupied seats before the two began trading blows. As some passengers rushed to separate the brawling men, still others could be seen quickly fleeing in terror.

Meanwhile, an unidentified woman begged the passengers to quit hitting each other. “What is wrong with you?” she can be heard asking in frustration, before exclaiming “Get off! Stop it!” while she attempted to pry the men apart.

Southwest Airlines officials praised crew members for quickly bringing the potentially dangerous situation to a safe conclusion. “Our employees are our everyday heroes and are trained to de-escalate conflict while delivering heartfelt hospitality on nearly 4,000 flights to nearly the half-million customers who fly Southwest every day,” the airline told CNN on Wednesday.

According to Burbank Police, one of the men involved in the scuffle on the taxiway was treated for minor injuries before continuing on to Oakland International Airport on the same flight. The alleged instigator, however, an unidentified 37-year-old man was arrested on battery charges.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. diver858

    May 10, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Latest enhancement to the open seating policy?

  2. Cat Man Do

    May 10, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    SWA praised crew members for stopping that? I don’t see any crew in that video.

  3. frogman478

    May 10, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Nick Krause is the real hero.

  4. Travel & Leisure

    May 11, 2017 at 4:18 am

    So one person is going to get off the plane three steps ahead of the other. Don’t flyers know by now the consequences of bad behavior on airplanes nowadays.

  5. SamirD

    May 11, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I think someone snapped that was trying to make a connecting flight, or something of that nature. Getting off the plane in a hurry to make a connection is stressful enough. And if someone is, let’s say, “less than cordial” on a request to get in front of someone, I could see how all that stress could turn on someone. Right, no, but understandable if you’ve ever been in that situation.

    We live in a world where the lack of empathy is turning us into each others enemies. Understanding and discussion towards finding mutual solutions seems to be a fading art. (If they were both late for flights, they could have asked people in front together.)

    I’ve made connections before with seconds to spare, and the few times that I’ve asked others if I could go ahead because of my tight connection (usually due to a delayed arrival), I’ve been met with compassion and cooperation. I could easily see how a crazy day of stress and a tight connection coupled with a hostile attitude towards a minor request could turn my frustrations into anger.

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