Fly the unfriendly skies! Shocking moment United Airlines passenger punches flight attendant and tries to jump out of plane after woman asked him to move out of her assigned seat
- Incident occurred overnight Sunday before plane took off from San Francisco
- Video shows man swinging wild punches at flight crew and other passengers
Video has emerged showing the moment a United Airlines passenger swung wild punches at crewmembers and other passengers, before attempting to jump out of an aircraft door.
The incident unfolded overnight Sunday at San Francisco International Airport on United flight 505, shortly before the flight to Houston took off, witness Naya Jimenez told KABC-TV.
The male passenger became belligerent and violent when Jiminez asked him and his wife to move out of her assigned seat, said Jimenez, who filmed the shocking video of the incident.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, a United spokesperson said: ‘On Sunday night, our team at San Francisco International Airport immediately contacted law enforcement officials after a customer became disruptive during boarding.’
‘We’re grateful to our team in San Francisco for their professionalism in this situation and for looking out for the safety of our customers and their fellow United employees,’ the airline added.
Video has emerged showing the moment a United Airlines passenger swung wild punches at crewmembers and other passengers overnight Sunday in San Francisco
It was not immediately clear whether the unruly passenger had been arrested, and the local ABC affiliate obscured his identity on video of the incident pending confirmation that he had been criminally charged.
The San Francisco Police Department and FBI’s field office in San Francisco did not immediately respond to questions from DailyMail.com on Tuesday morning.
Jimenez, who shot the video, said that the man became violent during the boarding process, when she tried to tell him and his wife that they were sitting in her ticketed seat, and asked them to move.
‘They had to bring in a gate attendant to try to talk to both of them,’ she said. ‘Then, he began slurring his speech a little bit, like, ‘Sir, why are you smiling at me?’ That’s the first thing he said.’
After throwing punches at the airline workers and other passengers, the man attempted to jump out of the plane, according to Jimenez.
‘After he paused for a minute, he ran toward where the pilot was, where the emergency exit doors are, and attempted to open it. (He) successfully opened the emergency exit and was about to jump down,’ she said.
‘The plane is elevated, so he would have jumped apparently two stories to the ground, and the flight attendants just kicked in, and everybody pulled him back to safety,’ she added.
Witness Naya Jimenez, who filmed the incident, says the man exploded when she asked him to move out of her assigned seat
A United flight is seen at SFO in a file photo. According to data from FlightAware, flight 505 took off from San Francisco at 12.12am on May 1, only 13 minutes after its scheduled departure
According to data from FlightAware, the plane took off from San Francisco at 12.12am on May 1, only 13 minutes after its scheduled departure time, and arrived on-time in Houston.
It is only the latest incident in a string of bizarre passenger outbursts to disrupt air travel and pose safety concerns.
Last week, a United flight from New Jersey to Israel turned back three hours after taking off, because a passenger refused to get up from the airline steward’s seat while waiting for the bathroom.
However, the total number of passenger incidents reported onboard US flights has fallen sharply and returned to pre-COVID levels, according to data from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA received 2,456 unruly passenger reports in 2022 and proposed $8.4 million in fines, down from 5,981 reports in 2021, which included 4,290 mask-related incidents. The FAA proposed $5 million in fines in 2021.
Assaulting a flight attendant or other airline crewmember is a federal crime, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
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