A fight broke out on an American Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Charlotte, and the incident was caught on video. According to Fox News, the brawl occurred as the flight was waiting to leave and was caused by a passenger refusing to follow the mask-wearing policy. However, CTV News reported that some witnesses said the brawl occurred over seat assignments.
The incident was captured on video by Caryn Ross and posted on Twitter with the caption: “Nothing like a morning Fight Club as tempers flared on American Airlines LAS-CLT flight today….So much for social distancing.”
— Caryn Ross (@SuperSassyMama) August 17, 2020
The video is only 12 seconds long but shows three women wearing masks fighting in the aisle, punching each other and pulling hair. According to Ross’s husband Jack Ross, police were called and the woman wearing pink was escorted off the plane.
The Airline Issued a Statement & Said the Brawl Was About the Mask-Wearing Policy
Fox News obtained a statement from an American Airlines spokesperson who said:
On Monday, a customer on American Airlines Flight 1665 with service from Las Vegas to Charlotte failed to comply with our mandatory face-covering policy after boarding the aircraft prior to departure. In accordance with our policy, the customer was subsequently asked to leave the aircraft and became disruptive, resulting in an altercation with other passengers.
The statement also mentioned the airline’s mask-wearing policy, which requires passengers to wear face masks at all times while onboard the aircraft. The policy has been in place since May 11. The statement continues, “We have since strengthened our policy to require face coverings be worn at airports and onboard, and announced in June that we may deny future travel for customers who refuse to wear a face-covering for the duration of this requirement.”
The policy is clear that it applies to all passengers above the age of two and there are no exemptions allowed. The only time a passenger can remove their mask is while eating or drinking.
A Similar Incident on a KLM Flight From Amsterdam to Ibiza Went Viral Earlier This Month
The American Airlines brawl wasn’t the first brawl on an airplane to go viral this month after a similar incident occurred on a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Ibiza. In that situation, two passengers were confronted by other passengers on the plane over their refusal to wear masks. That video is also available on Twitter:
“Stoppen nu, er zijn kinderen hiero!”Knokpartij op @klm vlucht naar Ibiza. Dronken passagier weigert mondkapje te dragen ✈️
— The Mic High Club Luchtvaart Podcast (@MicHighClub) August 2, 2020
In the video, many passengers can be seen shoving a passenger who is shirtless and has a bloody nose. Many of the passengers in this case aren’t wearing face masks. The video then shows the shirtless passenger face down on the ground with someone holding his arms behind his back.
In that incident, a KLM spokesperson told the U.K. Independent that “Two unruly passengers refused to wear their face masks, and they were bothering their fellow passengers physically and verbally. The pilot informed the local authorities and upon arrival, both passengers were arrested. The flight safety was not compromised during the flight.”