Friday Night This Miami Passenger Assaulted An American Airlines Employee – And Gate D23 Itself

On Friday evening an American Airlines passenger assaulted an employee – and gate D23 itself – in a viral altercation with multiple onlookers filming. The employee remained remarkably calm even as the maskless perpetrator hurled projectiles, insults, and his fists – stormed off and then returned to heap more abuse.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the American Airlines terminal in Miami, circa 2021:

Ken White offers,

People are super-critical that no cops stopped this but you gotta understand they were like 20 gates away shooting a service dog and detaining a shifty-looking black dude.

In fact, TSA was standing right there. The agency calls them officers so it’s easy for people to forget that TSA screeners are not law enforcement officers.

And Miami Dade police did, eventually, respond and arrest the perpetrator.

American Airlines needs to ban this passenger or recommend they fly Spirit, which will be starting service out of Miami on October 6.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker has said today’s passengers are ‘somewhat different’ than his airline’s ‘normal clientele’. Nowhere is that more evident than Miami, whether it’s brawling over masks, revolting before a New York flight, fighting at the check-in counter, giving birth in the restroom, brawling over standby seats or walking onto the tarmac in a medical gown.

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. How come this guy was not shot or beaten for what he did? O, I know, it’s cuz he was white! #whiteprivilege

  2. Maybe he used (ingested and or smoked) the same things as the monster who murdered a man from Colorado who was having dinner at a South Beach restaurant with family.

  3. The story is incomplete! Did this person get arrested?

    It seems like this event took some time – where were the police in all this?

  4. Notably absent from the comments on this post is frequent View From The Wing commenter by the name of Jackson Waterson, who makes every effort to espouse racist views on people of color and their supposed predilection for violent behavior. Jackson, if you’re reading this and alas not yet in hell, I pray your anus shrivels in your sleep and your body implodes in your own fecal waste.

  5. While the man is inappropriate and his behavior unacceptable.That said I can’t help but feel empathy for his deep frustration & pain/suffering.Perhaps anger management assistance
    I treat others properly and I’m sometimes poorly treated as a Exec Plat.
    If I don’t buy into first they seem annoyed to upgrade the boarding pass and make it a non priority
    Wasn’t always that way and not at Alaska or Southwest ever regardless of status

    For me its the Doug Parker broad systemwide effect and some of their emotionally poisoned employees the lack any kind of real empowerment to assist in a meaningful way let alone show empathy.I think we will see much of this in these continued challenging times
    Off topic somewhat
    My last trip was just simply awful with American.Yes I know isolated?? Not so confident
    From 2 flight cancellations, a hotel night at my expense at DFW unhelpful agents and a damaged smashed new piece of luggage next day upon arrival at my final destination
    Yes I know normal wear and tear @ American by their gorilla stomping elephant handlers.
    I didn’t ask for compensation.I was worn out flying east to west for 24 hours plus
    Not that I would get it likely anyway
    Added to insult gate changes from C to A last thing.And the people mover completely shut down @ DFW.Just great when you are recovering from orthopedic surgery
    Nobody would assist getting the bag off the plane the night before either they simply cant be bothered .That’s just the short list.I hate flying now and will travel less and less over time
    Its miserable and I’m flying in First .I wont get started with Americans disgusting dog food in so called premium cabins

  6. At this point, MIA and especially American’s management are on notice that they’ve got a serious, frequent unruly passenger problem at the airport. While the problem isn’t their fault—and certainly one could argue that American’s almost copying Spirit’s pricing model has contributed to this urban decay—MIA and AA should staff more security at American’s gates. They need to do this to protect other passengers and staff. If they don’t, it’s negligence on their part—and then the next time one of these thugs assaults someone, then MIA and AA management should be sued.

    Hope the Spirit pricing model—especially in f*ckwit Florida—is working out for you Doug Parker.

  7. Airlines are terrible nowadays. Last 2 times I flew they changed gates without informing us, this last flight was American airlines and they changed gate twice without warning on top of a 2.5 hour delay making us miss part of our vacation plan.

  8. The only positive part of the video was at the end where (presumably) other AA customers who moved forward to intervene. It requires some courage to confront a crazy person like that.

  9. Dewondermeant. You are clown with a stupid, unrelated rant.

    One does not have to commiserate with this white trash loser. There is no excuse for this behavior no matter how your pea brain tries to frame it.

  10. If the report cited by GeeEmm is correct, the individual was suffering from mental illness, which is a different story than an entitled, irate customer. Whether or not this person was a veteran, given the mental illness, let’s separate this story from the Spirit-in-Florida stories.

    Anyone been in a firefight? Anyone lived in an environment in which a firefight might break out at any moment? I would ask that you send this mentally tormented veteran thanks for serving his country and best wishes that he can live a normal life at some point.


  11. The more I read about stuff like this – the more I see myself (as a frequent high milage traveler) as the parent driving a car where both kids in the back are fighting – and regardless of who started “it” – I stop the car and smack them both….. hence 1) no trips for me on AA/Spirit and 2) no trips to MIA

    Yes, AA has a real problem at MIA (and probably elsewhere) – and FL is a real problem….heck, everywhere has a real problem – but I am not going down that rabbit hole tonight.

    When I need to fly – I will stick with an airline that treats me as a reasonable adult and in return, I will do my best to mind my Ps and Qs and thank the thankless front line staff who deal with the insanity of crazy passengers and crazy corporate

  12. Shut your ignorant mouth Josh. Racism only exists, when people like you make everything about race.

  13. @Don – Except for self-entitled idiots who act this way, you’re correct. I have to give you props for seeing the progress from the adversarial racist we had a year ago.

  14. according to comments were the police actually shooting a service dog somewhere else? And using the N word is what’s important here? glad he didn’t actually injure anybody with a stanchion. This behavior is more common than one thinks. Almost a daily occurrence. Learn how to behave in public already. Enough of rhe nonsense.

  15. @Christian – From adversarial racist, to bumbling buffoon. I’m not sure if that’s progress or regress…

  16. First of all, passengers who travel in first and status holders feel entitled and do not hesitate to make it known who they are and what they are traveling in. Them and every other passenger deserves the same treatment regardless of the type of ticket you purchase. You travelers who do not work in the field do not know what it is to go 0-10 (lately more) hrs of complete criticism/abuse (verbal and physical) from passengers who think we don’t care. Like any other business, there are things that can and cannot be done (fine print) but passengers think as long as they click “buy/purchase” it entitles them to verbally and physically abuse a worker for whatever reason it may be and demand everything under the sun so before you start criticizing those who work on the front lines for any airlines just think and ask yourself…would you want to continue to put a smile on your face after dealing with thousands of “you” all day who expect the world to be handed to them on a silver platter?! Oh and another thing…when there’s a cancellation due to weather with any airline, remember…we don’t control Mother Nature. Airline workers are tired of the abuse from passengers so when passengers whine about everything under the sun of course they’re not smiling or looking like they care. Do you care when they are looking like that and feeling not in their element?!?!

  17. Really needs to be in a hospital…unfortunately in FL and TX and other places in the South, they are all full w/anti-vaxxing Covid patients

  18. @me – spare me. Find another job if you don’t like because yes absolutely I expect a smile and to be treated with courtesy. And as for weather delays you might control the weather, but the company controls how they respond. And AA is notorious for rolling delays. For flights showing as on time even though the inbound is late and set to arrive arrive after you’ll supposedly take off. Be open and honest. Now I understand you can often only relay what you’re told but that’s on your employer, not the customers.

    Sorry but it’s not the customers job to just grin and bear it because you’ve had a bad day.

  19. @shawn
    Spare nothing…with your EXPECT. No one said they don’t like their jobs but with all the expectations passengers have when they damn well know it ain’t their first rodeo. When you act like a fool, trust and believe you get treated like one whether it be working for an airline or not. If you have kids I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t let your kids act a fool towards you. BTW, the customers attitude controls how I would respond in the end. If you want help, don’t degrade, use profanity and/or try to attack the worker because you are not hearing what you want to hear. You definitely won’t get that smile you expect to get. You talk about open and honest, passengers don’t want that either, they want what they want and that’s that. There are reasons why employees cannot do certain things passengers want so when one is honest about why, that ain’t enough… I do agree with you on one thing…it isn’t the customers job to just take it and be done with it but it does go both ways. Workers don’t need to take passengers unruly behavior either because their having a bad day. At the end of the day, everyone is human beings and if you want to be treated fairly, act fairly at the least.

  20. Vets from a previous era quickly learned that acting out could have severe consequences. Someone who acts like shown has emotional issues of one sort or another in any case. I don’t believe they should get a pass . About thirty days to think it over would be a reasonable beginning to their therapy.

  21. Doug Parker is letting Airline fall apart. This video is disturbing! No one stepped up until near the end of video. Disgraceful how Americans treat each other. Where were the Police?

  22. @me
    Those who mock your writing have no experience dealing with “today’s customer”. They would shrivel up in a corner in a fetal position after being subjected to some of the abuse frontline employees go through. They don’t have a clue.

  23. Are most of things happening on Flights to and from Florida or in Florida? Just traveled from BWI to Seattle and back and everyone was orderly and polite in both airports and our stop over in Denver.

  24. ITS OKAY, ITS OKAY!!!! He was in the military at one point in his life (as were millions of other people) and he was feeling sad……after consuming multiple beers and threatening his girlfriend.

  25. @Chris thank you!!! Just because you were ir are in the military doesn’t give you or your dependents the right to act a fool.

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