An American Airlines passenger assaulted a gate agent in Miami after being told they would have to gate check their carry on bag. The bag itself doesn’t look oversized. Presumably the agent believed that the overhead bins on the aircraft were full, and there’s no more room.
With new, larger overhead bins on American Airlines Boeing 737s, and increasingly on Airbus A321s, there would almost never be a time when passengers need to give up their carry on bags if other passengers would put their bags in the bins sideways. Proper bag loading, it seems, is always a way to prevent violence.
The situation begins as the agent and passenger have a confrontation over her bag at the bottom of the jet bridge, in front of the aircraft’s boarding door. The woman has words with him, not wanting to give up the bag. They both have their hands on the bag, wrestling for it as the woman tries to board even as she’s told she can’t bring it on. And the words escalate to violence, as she lunges at the employee.
Finally the employee grabs the bag and starts taking it up the jet bridge. The passenger latches onto it, and starts to get dragged with it.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker says 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.
So far American Airlines has borne the brunt of Miami crazy, since they operate a hub at the South Florida airport. I’ve written that ‘every airline’s passengers are Spirit Airlines passengers now’. However Spirit itself is building up a major presence there. Expect things to become even more surreal.