This past week, Southwest Airlines has been forced to use a complete lifetime ban on a woman who was allegedly recorded assaulting a flight attendant on a flight from northern to southern California. The flight attendant was reportedly left bleeding and missing two teeth after the harrowing encounter.
The 28-year-old passenger on the flight, Vyvianna Quinonez, that has been accused of confronting the flight attendant, seems to have had some sort of rage ignited around the time that the flight was looking to land, as seen in the video footage, reported The Washington Post. The video of the whole incident shows the woman jump up and throw a punch at the flight attendant and strike her in the face which leads to the Southwest Airlines employee starting to bleed.
Video obtained by CBS News shows the moment a Southwest Airlines flight attendant was punched by a passenger after asking her to keep her seat belt fastened during a flight from Sacramento to San Diego Sunday. https://t.co/gQusevodYC pic.twitter.com/oOYvPdwCFj
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 27, 2021
Directly after the woman struck the flight attendant, while the encounter seemed to be escalating, a large male passenger lept up and between the two and demanded the woman sit down in her seat, shouting, “Don’t you dare touch a flight attendant like that.”
Police officers from the Port of San Diego Harbor boarded the plane as soon as it landed at the San Diego International Airport and took Quinone out in handcuffs. She has been officially charged with felony battery.
“According to witnesses, an altercation between a passenger and a flight attendant had taken place during the flight. During the altercation, the passenger struck the flight attendant, causing serious injuries,” stated Port of San Diego Public Safety.
While there is not any evidence that alcohol was a factor in the situation, the airline has made the decision to change policies and halt the resuming of all alcohol services on flights due to an increase in “passenger disruptions,” as reported by CNN, who had obtained an internal memo from Southwest Airlines.
As reported by The New York Times, on Saturday, American Airlines made the decision against starting their alcohol services as well, stating in another internal memo that “alcohol can contribute to atypical behavior from customers onboard and we owe it to our crew not to potentially exacerbate what can already be a new and stressful situation for our customers.”
Directly before the changes made to its policies on alcohol service were released, Southwest issues a statement saying that Quinone was permanently banned from flying with them again. CNN reported that a spokesperson for southwest told them that the woman had “been advised this decision is final” and will not be able to be appealed.