Video reveals moment passenger knocked out flight attendant’s teeth in clash over masks

Woman charged for causing serious battery harm to flight attendant, one in a record string of attacks in industry

Clara Hill
Wednesday 26 May 2021 09:25 EDT
<p>Vyvianna Quinonez was charged with a felony for assaulting a flight attendant on 23 May</p>

Vyvianna Quinonez was charged with a felony for assaulting a flight attendant on 23 May

Video has emerged of a Southwest flight attendant having her teeth knocked out by an angry passenger, who was removed from the plane and charged with a felony.

The victim remains unnamed after the incident on Sunday morning following landing in San Diego from Sacramento, according to Chris Mainz, a representative from the airline.

He said that a passenger “repeatedly ignored standard inflight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing”.

Mr Mainz also stated that police were called to the scene, who then arrested her. The footage was captured and shared on Facebook of the woman being taken away by the San Diego Port Authority.

She was later identified as Vyvianna Quinonez, 28, and she was charged with a felony, battery causing serious bodily harm, according to KUSI News.

“We do not condone or tolerate verbal or physical abuse of our flight crews, who are responsible for the safety of our passengers.” the airline statement concluded, according to USA Today.

An eyewitness shared her experience of the scuffle. “The flight attendant told her to keep her seat belt fastened while we were still moving. What I saw was the flight attendant in the front suddenly start screaming ‘No, No, No! Stop!’, and running toward the back,” Susan Marie Stidman wrote on the video she shared.

On 24 May, the president of the flight attendants’ union Lyn Montgomery wrote to the company’s CEO in an open letter, saying the flight attendant was “seriously assaulted, resulting in injuries to the face and a loss of two teeth”.

Ms Montgomery appealed to the CEO to improve working conditions on planes in her letter. On average, a year would see 100 to 150 incidents.

“Let’s work together to increase personal safety and security across the industry and bring some stability back to our working lives,” she wrote.

The letter was part of a larger plea to upper management about the working conditions faced by aircraft staff, beginning by highlighting that there had been “477 passenger misconduct incidents” between 8 April and 15 May.

They are asking for tighter implementations of their policy and harsher punishment for badly behaved customers.

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