Arielle Jean Jackson is the woman accused of an attack in Dallas, Texas, that left a Southwest Airlines operations agent hospitalized. Some media reports said Jackson was accused of assaulting a flight attendant. Attacks on flight crew members and other airline personnel, along with other passenger disruptions, have been a growing trend in the U.S., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has handed out millions in fines to unruly passengers in recent months.
Dallas Police released Jackson’s name as the accused assailant in the fight, according to Fox Business. Heavy contacted Dallas police for additional details. It doesn’t appear this incident was captured on video.
Here’s what you need to know:
Jackson Is Accused of Punching the Southwest Airlines Employee
Online jail records (above) confirmed that Jackson was in the Dallas jail as of November 14, 2021. The incident took place on Saturday, November 13, 2021.
“We can confirm reports of a female passenger verbally and physically assaulting one of our female Operations Agents (not a Flight Attendant as some have reported) shortly after boarding Flight # 4976 with scheduled service from Dallas Love Field to La Guardia on Saturday, Nov. 13,” Southwest Airlines told Heavy in a statement.
“The incident took place during the boarding process. The passenger was taken into custody by local law enforcement officers, and our Employee was transported to a local hospital, where she remains with multiple injuries in stable condition. Our entire Southwest Family is wishing her a speedy and full recovery as we send our thoughts, prayers, and love to her. Southwest Airlines maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of harassment or assault and fully support our Employee as we cooperate with local authorities regarding this unacceptable incident.”
The incident was violent, according to Fox. Jackson “boarded the plane and went straight to the back” where she had a “verbal altercation with a flight attendant who instructed the suspect to leave the plane,” police told Fox News.
According to what police told Fox, they believe Jackson “went to the front of the plane where she had another verbal altercation with another flight attendant” and then began “hitting her with a closed fist to the head.” However, as noted, the employee wasn’t a flight attendant.
The flight was heading to New York City from Dallas Love Field, and occurred as passengers were boarding the aircraft, Fox reported.
According to NBC News, the operations agent victim, was hospitalized and is in stable condition. Jackson was arrested and could face charges of aggravated assault, according to NBC.
Passenger Misconduct Incidents Are a Growing Problem
There have been other incidents on Southwest planes. Previously, Vyvianna Quinonez was accused in federal court of attacking a Southwest Airlines flight attendant so violently her teeth were chipped. There have also been mask disputes.
According to NBC 7 San Diego, attacks against flight attendants are up.
“Unfortunately, this is just one of many occurrences,” said Lyn Montgomery, Local 556 President of the Transport Workers Union, to the television station.
Between April 8 and May 15, 2021, alone, there were 477 passenger misconduct incidents on Southwest planes, Montgomery told NBC 7.
“The passenger repeatedly ignored standard inflight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing,” said the spokesman for the airline, Chris Mainz, to the television station.