Police Pepper Spray JetBlue Passenger, Others in the Gate Area Need Medical Attention

On Sunday night a man frustrated by the delay of JetBlue flight 801 from Orlando to Salt Lake City ‘went crazy’ and was pepper sprayed by police.

The 6:45 p.m. scheduled departure was ultimately delayed to 8:51 p.m. The man “started fighting with a JetBlue employee.” He appeared to “take a swing” at the JetBlue agent and passengers in the gate area sought to restrain him.

The altercation was caught on video:

And here’s the police subduing the assailant.

The man was arrested. Other passengers, “coughing and sneezing from the pepper spray” had to receive treatment.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I hope he has a better way to get to Salt Lake from Florida, since he’s now on every “Do Not Fly” list in the country.

    Ahhh, the joys of ultra budget air travel for the masses….

  2. JetBlue today is not ultra budget travel.
    I can not speak for this incident but I stopped flying JetBlue when an announcement of further delays ex-PBI had to be timed to coincide with the presence of Police, one of which brandished her gun
    A police officer brandishing a gun is considered a no-no when not facing an armed situation. there was no violence at the time but I later found out it was a very common occurrence for JetBlue to call Police to their gate.

  3. Now I know why security personnel greeted my JetBlue flight the other day when a mechanical issue forced its return to the gate. It seemed odd as there was no disturbance. But some people apparently get violent after flight delays, so I guess they weren’t taking any chances. The playbook now calls for free snacks and security when things go wrong.

  4. It’s the dress code. Guy flying wearing a t-shirt. This never happened when all the men wore suits and ties when flying.

  5. The best part about this – the part that makes me smile, is that so many other pax are assisting the cop in detaining the suspect. This is the first time people actually get off their phones and step in to help someone in need. People are not going to take this crap any more. Unruly pax beware!

  6. @ Donato — I don’t know what “brandishing” a gun means. Are you telling us that the police offer unholstered a gun in the terminal just because a flight was delayed? That sounds bizarre.

    But it does seem to be JetBlue’s police to “call the police” (or use private security) whenever there’s a significant delay. Maybe that policy isn’t so crazy, as people do seem to be crazy.

  7. @chopsticks
    When I stated brandishing a gun I was referring to the officer taking her weapon out of its holster and waving it to make sure people understood that she was serious. I am not in favor of disorder but I have since learned that removing a weapon from its holster when not facing a threat is a No-No.
    Such behavior by NYPD, I am told, results in disciplinary action.
    The potential for trouble and the whole atmosphere induced me to avoid JetBlue.

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