Brawl Breaks Out On Allegiant Air Over Maskless Man

Allegiant Air can take you non-stop between inexpensive airports outside of major cities and places no one wants to go. And they do it for less, as long as you want to travel at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The airline knows their market, and has operated a greater share of their flights throughout the pandemic than other airlines. They’ve reported their customers are less afraid of Covid-19, saying that “[i]n the Midwest and Mid Atlantic, the Upper West, I got to tell you they don’t share the opinion that the evening news is putting out there.”

Unsurprisingly that translates to a unique onboard experience during Covid times. Their flight attendants have been known not to wear masks, and one passenger was even removed from an aircraft for complaining about this. Allegiant only instituted a firm mask policy on September 17 – prior to that passengers were allowed to wear face in lieu of a face mask<. It's not surprising then that Saturday a brawl broke out on an Allegiant flight from Mesa, Arizona to Provo, Utah when a passenger refused to wear a mask. He insisted he was fine with just a face shield. That’s when another passenger “started heckling the man.”

  • The maskless man was going to be removed from the plane
  • But the other passenger “continued to egg him on.”

That’s when the passenger “who refused to wear a mask was kind of choking the other man, or had a hold of his neck, and then started pulling the man’s hair and hitting him in the back.” And naturally this was all caught on video. You’ll notice that a passenger sitting a row in front of the passengers fighting is standing up and wearing a mask below his nose, natch. He appears to try to get involved in the fight, but a man sitting in the row in front of him appears to intervene.

Not clearly audible to me, but there may ‘NSFW’ language in the video (or ‘not safe for work from home if your kids are doing Zoom School nearby’).

Presumably the passenger purchased their ticket when a face shield was all that was required. While a face shield isn’t going to eliminate the expulsion of respiratory droplets, and it’s reasonable for other passengers to be unsatisfied with this, I can also see the point of a passenger who may have checked Allegiant’s rules when buying his ticket and discovered that a face shield would work in lieu of a mask. He was, then, following the rules that were given to him when he purchased the ticket. And that’s probably the last time he paid attention.

The worst offender here is the other passenger who got involved when the airline’s cabin crew were handling the situation and removing the man from the aircraft. There was no reason – or excuse – for escalating a tense situation on the plane.

(HT: MilesQuest)

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, 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. Toss them both in jail. One of them for being ignorant and the other one for just being a dumb ass. Probably a couple silver spoons spatting. LOL. Toss them both for 30 days. Being stupid and an ass are not responsible excuses.

  2. Low cost air travel doesn’t work in USA because of low average IQ. It works well in East Asia, where IQs are much higher on average. It works fine in Western Europe, where IQs are a tad higher than USA. Evidently, a tad is all you need to avoid situations like this.

  3. Honestly that plane looks pretty full. Based on the TSA data, more people are gradually returning to flying – more are flying now than there were in July. What’s your view on the current travel landscape Gary?

  4. Leaving from Mesa and going to Provo Utah, gee both towns are the land of the (redacted)

  5. This is all so stupid. You even have this writer trying to use crap science to tell us the difference between a face shield and a mask. Masks don’t work PERIOD. Doctors have done in depth decades long studies into this. Surgeons wear masks but not for the purpose that we are told to. Mind you that surgeons spend years being trained on how to use a mask, never touching it or adjusting it lest the mask becomes an incubator of germs and disease. This has got to stop and we must return to our normal lives and quit letting the mentally disturbed make the rules.

  6. @Jason: No, it doesn’t work better in Western Europe— there are Los of fights involving drunk footballers and tourists on their way to Ibiza on ULCC’s. While American ULCC’s have their share of idiots it isn’t exclusively an American problem.

  7. @Waldo – it doesn’t take years to learn how to properly use a mask. if the problem is insufficient training, then we should address *that* rather than not bothering with masks.

    As for whether masks work you do not need perfectly effective masks, or perfect wearing, for them to reduce viral loads you’re exposed to and either prevent infection or prevent symptoms and further spread. The idea that there’s some scientific consensus otherwise just isn’t accurate. See for instance,

  8. I enjoyed the beginning of the article where the author attempts to out down Allegiant Air. Before the virus that airline hadn’t had a non profitable quarter. Check their stock price. I’ll bet it’s better than any other airline. And they fly exactly where people want to go- that’s why they do so well

  9. Having flown allegiant, specifically round trip on the route in question, as recently as August- I can say that they had the mask requirement in place at that time. I saw no such thing as a face shield exception. We assumed at booking that they were not filling the plane but they were. But when flying you are accepting risk anyway. I don’t understand the trash talking. Drama on planes regarding mask wearing has happened on other airlines as well.

  10. I have been flying allegiant for two years now they go from Nashville to Sarasota these are not Podunk towns they also go to Boston and all over the country at a very reduced rate I have flown with them at least a dozen times now and they Have always offered a mask and kit since Covid began and then advertised it was mandatory to wear a mask. And if you did not have one they would provide it they have it on their website when you get your ticket they have it on the ticket on your iPhone it is stated so many times it is impossible possible for me to believe that someone did not know it was required and even then they still offer a mask at the door. And that story about the airline stewardess not wearing a mask it was only when she was giving directions on how to use oxygen since that incident they don’t go through that anymore they do not remove their mask So before you poke fun at Allegiant I thank goodness they are there it has afforded me the possibility of flying to Sarasota every month to see friends and continue my business you should check them out they have air purification systems they have never been so clean and amazingly since people have been wearing masks no one coughs or sneezes anymore I feel very comfortable flying on a regular basis you might wish to check out Allegiant yourself. A little bit of education goes a long way

  11. I flew the route from Mesa to Bellingham the day before. I too, bought my ticket prior to the new rule. I had a mask on, but it was “silky”. They hassled me about it. They now don’t allow gators, bandanas or “silky” material. Even Delta isn’t so restrictive. I’m a frequent flyer, having flown to over 70 countries and I don’t have a low IQ. It is very degrading to make that sweeping assumption based on flight routes. These rules are absurd. Are they going to start weighing masks to be sure they are meeting “thickness” quotas?

  12. I just flew from Oregon to Mesa. The flight attendants were great and the passengers were respectful. I’m sick and tired of a few idiots ruining Allegiants reputation. Not all of us can afford the outrageous cost the huge airlines charge. People are people there’s always an idiot no matter where you go.

  13. Nothing like a bad fight to up the spread of virus from the foaming at the mouth types and the loud cheerleader crowd.

    The sad thing is that the level of civility in America has dropped to new lows and keeps dropping.

    One of the things that made America great was that we had a high degree of civility even when dealing with fellow citizens whose policies, practices and peaceful opinions we opposed. Now the state of things is that of rabid animals against each other, in a reality TV show style represented by Donald Trump. What a sad state of affairs that has its in-air equivalent for passengers in the way we have it with our TV-obsessed, gone-golfing Covidiot-in-Chief President.

  14. It’s fascinating that seven months in, Gary is still a hard-core believer in this scamdemic. When will this uninformed sheep wake up?

  15. Flew CVG_PGD last Thursday evening. Partway through the flight a pax from the back of the plane came up and spoke to the FAs for a long time…didn’t give it another thought until the pilot announced after we landed to please stay seated, someone was coming on board. Four Charlotte County Sheriff Dept deputies boarded, and were clearly going to have a chat with someone toward the back of the plane. Didn’t see the incident, didn’t see the apprehension of the miscreant, just wanted to get off that bird

  16. “Why is there a ramp agent on the aircraft?”

    The incident happened while on the ground in Mesa.

  17. CDC guidelines updated August 7 2020 state that people who have a medical exclusion letter from their doctor risk a serious medical emergency by wearing a mask (in my case my oxygen drops). Allegiant was very accommodating on my 2 round trip vacations allowing no mask with my letter. I am deeply saddened that they seemingly have changed their policy

  18. It’s no Wonder that GU Wonder was unable to write an educated reply without bringing the POTUS into the discussion and of course bad mouthing him ! Some things never change. You could blog about the color of the fall leaves and some idiot would bring DT into the equation. Also OP a little insulting to say “ traveling to cities that no one wants to go to”. Esp if you are from one of those places such as myself.

  19. James N you have beaten this to death. Maybe mix it up and give us your thoughts on Pizzagate or QAnon?

  20. Wow, the last few weeks I’d been conditioned by this blog – and other blogs – to think that only black folks acted crazy on airplanes.

  21. James N calls this pandemic a scam and a hoax, even as his weak, insecure, loudmouth Lord Trump got infected with this “scam” coronavirus so hard and so quickly that he had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency care using experimental treatment. And it was so bad that he even ordered his military doctors to mislead the public about his feeble health condition and that he felt the urge to put on a Russian/Belarussian-authoritiarian-style “I’m your leader” video. Here’s a part of that video with the appropriate music for the Putin-loving Trump:

    James N’s Lord Trump has been taking steroids. And as happens with some steroid junkies, the steroids may be hitting Trump’s brain so hard that Trump should have probably been considered for a 25th Amendment sidelining by his cabinet for reasons related to disability arising from Trump’s mental instability.

  22. Emil Zog,

    “It is what it is”, as “we reap what we sow”. Trump is a symptom of the problems in the country, not the cause of those problems. But Trump is the chief attacker on the use of masks as a pandemic response measure; he has been making it a political fight issue; and he has been encouraging his supporters to make everything a gutter fight. All of that invites due consequences.


    Trump as President gets the criticism he deserves. The liar-in-chief jeopardizes the health and lives not only of all Americans — including those who serve and protect the country and him. He also jeopardizes the health and lives of his cult followers with his shameless shenanigans meant to distract and deflect from his lousy governing abilities and all the damage he has done and continues to do to Americans and America during this pandemic.

    The Allegiant Air incident is a microcosm of Trump’s America.

  23. The ejected passenger is obviously a jerk
    Non compliance on matters of public safety isn’t an option
    The degradation of civic reciprocity is harming the country over people who claim fictional exemption for compliance with basic health protection
    Betting he didn’t try to get an anti anxiety medication from his physician
    Bet he hasn’t disclosed on medical questionnaires he suffers from anxiety
    This guy is an onager

  24. @ GUWonder

    My comment had nothing to do with Trump. I was questioning whether your remarks advanced the cause of civility, the lack of which you were bemoaning. I fear we are creating a lot of exceptions with respect to Trump that will haunt us.

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