- Two passengers were removed from a Delta Airlines flight earlier this week after becoming disruptive.
- Witnesses told WTVJ that one of the passengers was cursing at flight attendants.
- On Thursday, the airline’s CEO requested federal assistance in combating a surge of unruly behavior.
Two unruly passengers were removed from a Delta Airlines flight earlier this week after becoming aggressive toward flight attendants.
Witnesses onboard the Tuesday flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Atlanta, Georgia, told WTVJ that one of the passengers, a woman, was the primary antagonist. Sources said she was cursing at flight attendants and flipped them off.
Brianna Morfesi, a passenger on Delta flight 1582, told the NBC affiliate that she was seated a couple of rows away from the couple and filmed the incident.
“She was just yelling, just in general, everything she was saying, she was screaming, she was cursing like a sailor,” Morfesi said. “If you go to a bar and there’s a drunk person, she was that person on the plane.”
Morfesi told the outlet that the couple’s disruptive behavior persisted long enough that the flight crew eventually asked the captain to turn the plane around and return to the terminal.
The woman was resistant to being deplaned, according to the report.
“The lady was like, ‘Why am I being arrested?’ That’s all she kept saying. No one said anything about being arrested,” Morfesi told WTVJ.
After a crew member explained to the couple why they were being removed, Morfesi said the woman told the crew member to “F off” and flipped her the bird.
“Once they got kicked off the plane it was kind of this relief, everyone was like yes! It was so bad,” Morfesi added.
A spokesperson for Delta told Insider that the couple caused a 28-minute departure delay.
“Delta has zero tolerance for unruly behavior at our airports and on our flights, as nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and flight crews,” the representative said. “We apologize for any inconvenience the departure delay may have had for our remaining customers.”
The incident preceded a Thursday letter from Delta CEO Ed Bastian to the Department of Justice asking the agency to add unruly passengers to the national “no fly list,” citing a surge in disruptive passenger behavior that interferes with flight safety.
In his letter, Bastian said the rate of unruly passenger incidents on Delta flights has increased “nearly 100 percent since 2019” as he called for federal intervention.
The CEO requested that any person convicted of an onboard disruption be added to a “national, comprehensive, unruly passenger ‘no-fly’ list” that would ban the offender from future travel on any commercial carrier.