A Couple Got Into A Fight On Southwest Flight – And Set A Fire

A man and woman who were traveling together on board Southwest Airlines flight WN4699 from Dallas Love Field to Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday got into a fight with each other – and wound up setting a fire. The pilot diverted the Boeing 737 while the crew put it out.

The plane was flying at around 39,000 feet a little over 100 nautical miles southwest of Pensacola when the man reportedly “slapped his cell phone against the woman’s body.” The phone began to “smoulder and emit smoke.”

A passenger yelled “fire!” Flight attendants on board intervened and took the phone, placing it into a battery containment bag. Twenty five minutes later the aircraft was on the ground in Pensacola.

The plane was delayed 90 minutes and eventually made it to Fort Lauderdale with everyone but the two ex-lovebirds on board.

According to Southwest Airlines,

A Southwest flight operating from Dallas Love Field safely diverted to Pensacola International Airport on Wednesday afternoon due to a dispute between two passengers traveling together that resulted in a broken cell phone which smoldered and was placed into a battery containment bag by our Flight Attendants. After the two passengers exited the aircraft in Pensacola, the flight continued to Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport. We appreciate the patience, cooperation, and support of the Customers onboard today.

This by the way is the reason the last administration’s brief experiment with banning electronics in the passenger cabin was such a bad idea. When electronics catch fire they can usually be contained in the passenger cabin but it’s much harder to deal with as cargo. It’s why airlines don’t allow lithium ion batteries to travel in checked luggage, and why a generation of ‘smart’ suitcases were been banned even as carry on bags, since there’s always the chance a carry on might have to be checked.

U.S. airlines generally carry fire containment bags and heat resistant gloves on their aircraft. That way when electronic devices catch fire they can deal with it.

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. Wow, nice work by the crew. Only a 90 minute delay for an onboard fire and emergency landing seems short.

  2. Hopefully, this couple read View from the Wing and signed up using the link to the American Express card with purchase protection. Some AMEX cards offer total replacement value for a smoldering cell phone.

    More good news. You can purchase a replacement cell phone at PSN and enjoy adult beverages while waiting for the next flight at the Pensacola Beach House bar in the airport.

  3. Man….Southwest really needs to stop serving alcohol onboard. None of this would have happened if those insurrectionists weren’t drinking $8 skunked bud lights and just sat there wearing their 3 masks like Dr. Fauci (actually, we’ll just call him God now. It has a nicer ring to it) said to.

  4. Chris Southwest does not serve alcohol at this time. Not to say, however, that this combative couple did not load up at the Airport Bar prior to boarding the flight. This is one of those times you cannot blame the airline. Sorry to disappoint you.

  5. I guess you failed to recognize sarcasm. Correct, onboard alcohol did not cause this (nor would it have anyway) because WN won’t serve it but Sara Nelson of AFA seems to think that onboard alcohol is the root of all evil…..actual her members actually having to get up to serve it is the root of all evil.
    So now we’re left with the true causes for the fight and for the phone blowing up. They are in order:

    2.White Nationalism
    3.Econonic Inequality
    6.Donald Trump

    Although, Trump is likely only responsible for the phone catching on fire, we’ll just blame him for the fight too for convenience sake.

    I hope this clears things up for you.

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