Spirit Airlines employees were attacked by customers in a violent scene captured in a dramatic video at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport in Florida.
“This was not a ‘brawl,'” said Spirit Airlines’ spokesman, Erik Hofmeyer. “Saying there was a ‘brawl’ implies that both sides were fighting, which is definitely not the case. Our Team Members were assaulted by these Guests who were arrested for battery.”
Tymaya Wright, 20, was accused of battery and petit theft for “taking a Spirit employee’s phone and putting it in her backpack,” according to Fox32. Danaysha Dixon, 22, and Keira Ferguson, 21, were accused of battery.
“Spirit Airlines employees attacked, items and punches thrown inside Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. No word as to what started this, but 3 women were arrested,” wrote journalist Parker Branton on Facebook. The women have not been identified. The fight occurred on the evening of July 14, 2020, and the video quickly began going viral on Twitter and other social media sites.
“We thank our Team Members for their professionalism and quick actions, and we also thank the Broward Sheriff’s Office for their assistance at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport yesterday,” Hofmeyer added. “Three Guests became combative following a delayed flight, and they were arrested for physically assaulting our Team Members. Three of our Team Members sustained minor injuries. This violent behavior is completely unacceptable and has absolutely no place in airports or any other place of business. We will not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind. Further questions about this incident should be referred to law enforcement.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Women Are Accused of Growing Violent Because Their Flight to Philly Was Delayed
3 ARRESTED AFTER AIRPORT DUSTUP ✈️
— Ian Margol (@IanMargolWPLG) July 15, 2020
Journalist Ian Margol of WPLG-TV called it an “airport dustup.” Spirit Airlines told the television station that “the women got violent after their flight to Philly was delayed.”
People responded to the video on Twitter. “So they were really fighting at Spirit Airlines in Fort Lauderdale… ” wrote one woman. Other people used the opportunity to trash Spirit Airlines. “It’s Spirit airlines… I can’t be the only person that’s not even slightly shocked,” wrote one person on Twitter. “This must be the spirit airlines terminal,” wrote another Twitter user after sharing the video. “Arrest them all,” a man wrote.
A woman wrote on Facebook, “I saw more than 3. Arrest them all. Where is the respect.”
It’s Not the First Spirit Airlines Altercation at Fort Lauderdale’s Airport
It’s not the first time that Spirit Airlines has seen altercations in Fort Lauderdale. In May 2017, altercations broke out as customers grew frustrated by Spirit Airlines cancellations and long lines, according to ABC News.
That incident also resulted in three arrests after people stormed the check-in counter, according to Buzzfeed. In that incident, the Spirit spokesman told Buzzfeed the delays were “a result of unlawful labor activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers, by canceling multiple flights across our network.”
Also in 2017, loud music led to a wild brawl on a Spirit Airlines flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles. You can learn more about that incident here. “I’d be really afraid just because of all the security and all the issues going on right now. I would think that’s bigger than just girls fighting over music,” Shamaila Taj told CBS Los Angeles in an interview at LAX after that incident. “A plane is probably the last place you would want to do something like that … I would freak out, more so than anything else, because there’s nowhere else you can go.”
The above video is from the 2017 incident. Heavy has reached out to Spirit Airlines’ PR office for comment on the most recent video brawl at Fort Lauderdale. It’s not clear whether any employees were injured in the attack.