It’s unbelievable in less than two days melees have taken place on two different airlines causing havoc on flights that caused the pilots to either return to abort the flights and make emergency landings. The first was a horrifying incident on Aer Lingus where a passenger ran amok biting others and acting crazy before he collapsed and died on the plane. The latest one is closer to home. It happened today, Oct. 19 on Southwest flight 2010 from Los Angeles to San Francisco where two passengers got into a seat back-reclining situation argument. The one in back did not think the person in front should recline their seat back and according the person in front of them and allegedly started to choke her—which has not be confirmed by witnesses, the airline or FBI. A lot of fusses over nothing as seats do not recline very far on Southwest. Never-the-less it was fisty-cuffs all over again. The news of the Southwest debacle was reported by Internet sources such as the Manhattan Patch and eturbonews.
The fracas caused the pilot to turn the plane around and head back to Los Angeles thus delaying and inconveniencing other passengers because of this ill-thought-out debate. One of the passengers has been detained on suspicion of assaulting another passenger but wasn’t arrested ccording to an FBI agent.
The Patch quoted Airport Police Officer Rob Pedregon as saying that authorities were notified of the disturbance on board the aircraft about 10:45 p.m. today. The original call mentioned a fight between two passengers, Pedregon said. Southwest issued a statement saying that the pilot flew the plane back to LAX to “allow police access to the cabin because of a rapidly escalating situation involving passengers who were not traveling together.” “To receive priority handling from air traffic controllers, the captain declared an emergency, landed uneventfully, and reached a gate where law enforcement officers met the flight. Once at the gate, passengers onboard the SW flight switched airplanes and, coupled with a previous air traffic control delay, the 136 passengers arrived at their destination (San Francisco) about five hours behind schedule.”
These types of incidents have become more common in the last few years causing not only financial burdens on the airlines but wear and tear on passengers whose flights get delayed in the process. Are airlines going to have to screen passengers for psychiatric problems? Obviously people who practice this type of disruptive behavior have a problem controlling their tempers.