Usually it’s the passengers going on extreme rants and behaving in an unbalanced fashion once the door closes. But cabin crew have been known to go on power trips. I’ve monitored other passengers shifting my belongings in the overhead bin and gotten looks from flight attendants before. Have you ever feared being approached with the question, “are we going to have a problem today?”
One Spirit Airlines flight attendant went on a bizarre rant, pre-emptively warning passengers about the consequences of bad behavior – including failure to wear masks – by letting everyone in the cabin know that they are a government official, commercial aircraft are government property, and they can write anyone up that they want simply for acting out of character. That comes with 20 years (or life!) in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Once the door is closed if we have to ask you more than once to cover your nose, mouth, put your mask on, we’re not going to be rude, we’re not going to be nasty, we’re going to simply take your seat number and your name and when we get where we’re going you’ll either be arrested, fined but you’ll also be placed on the no-fly list meaning that you’ll not be able to fly any airline for the rest of your life.
..Let me remind you, we are government officials and this is government property. If you choose to act out of content or character on this aircraft, you will be arrested and will face 20 years imprisonment and you’ll also receive a $250,000 fine.
..If a weapon is used, you’ll face life in prison. So, before anybody gets creative, wanna feel froggy, wanna be bad, wanna be a superhero, let me let you know what’s going on,
Spirit Airlines flight attendant threatens to arrest and no-fly-list any passengers who refuse to keep a mask on *for the entire flight!*
This tyranny will become the norm under Biden if we don’t stand behind President Trump! pic.twitter.com/qn4AzK2QRf
— Simon (@simonsasquatch) November 6, 2020
Airlines aren’t government-owned, just partially nationalized as part of the CARES Act bailout process. Airline employees have effectively been government employees, with the federal government picking up a majority of airline payroll in 2020 and seeking more. But as a technical matter flight attendants aren’t government employees and certainly do not have police powers.
Airlines have turned over security to the government. Governments own nearly all U.S. airports. And air traffic control isn’t just regulated by the government, it’s provided by the government. Everything about an aircraft has to be approved by the government, more or less, even handing out hand sanitizer to passengers.
However airlines have their own mask rules, and can ban passengers who do not wear masks from flying on their airline only. While a crewmember can report an incident to authorities, and a captain can choose to divert a flight, most inflight incidents do not end in criminal charges.
Update: Spirit Airlines offers,
The message in this video is not Spirit’s approved message for welcoming our Guests onboard our planes and is not authorized. We appreciate the Guest who brought it to our attention, and we’re addressing the issue to make sure that this does not occur again in the future.
(HT: Paddle Your Own Kanoo)