Passengers Attack 3 Gate Agents When Spirit Airlines Flight Is Delayed

Three Spirit Airlines passengers were arrested for attacking three of the carrier’s employees during a delay of Spirit flight NK1004 from Fort Lauderdale to Philadelphia on Tuesday. The employees all “suffered minor injuries” after the three passengers in the gate area hit staff with “phones, shoes, full water bottles, metal boarding signs and fast food.”

The employees “were also punched and kicked in different sections of their bodies numerous times” according to Sheriff’s department arrest documents. Here’s video of it all going down:

Apparently the conflict began when the airline employees stopped the boarding process and closed the door to the jet bridge.

The three female passengers, all in their 20s, were hauled off to Broward County Jail. The flight’s departure was delayed a total of 79 minutes, likely lengthened by the need for a police response.

According to the airline,

We thank our Team Members for their professionalism and quick actions, and we also thank the Broward Sheriff’s Office for their assistance at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport yesterday. Three Guests became combative following a delayed flight, and they were arrested for physically assaulting our Team Members. Three of our Team Members sustained minor injuries. This violent behavior is completely unacceptable and has absolutely no place in airports or any other place of business. We will not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind. Further questions about this incident should be referred to law enforcement.

Spirit Airlines. Florida. Flight delay. We probably could have written the rest of the story from that alone.

It’s been less than two weeks ago since a Spirit AIrlines passenger kicked an agent in the head, beat another with a dustpan, and coughed on cops claiming she had Covid-19.

(HT: Demetrius M. )

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. […] Early on during the pandemic I thought we’d see less ‘conflict in the skies’ with fewer passengers and shared purpose. however the experience has become more small-d democratic than ever before, with nearly all leisure travelers – the usual frequent flyers traveling for business just aren’t in the mix. Perhaps the refrain is, “we’re all Spirit Airlines passsengers now.” […]


  1. Pretty wild how political correctness lets us identify the passengers by gender and age, but not by race. I do not argue that race is relevant, it is merely a descriptor. I do argue that gender and age are not relevant either, they are merely descriptors.

    Trump 2020.

  2. @Jason – double digit deficit in the national polls (borne out at the swing state level too) are looking just fantastic for Agent Orange.

    Enjoy being on the wrong side of history!

  3. @Jason… Really, you’d have to ask the suspects about their genders 😉

    And I’m not sure you can ever call them Spirit passengers since they never got on the plane.

  4. All this over a Spirit delay? What next, looting the airport over a Spirit flight cancellation?

  5. Seems like there is more to this story. Why is spirit closing the gate? Nothing excuses this type of conduct but if any airline is going to provide an experience so bad that it will lead to violence its likely to be spirit and people coming out of Florida? That pretty much says it all right there. What kinda moron is in Florida right now if they don’t live there normally? These women deserve to be made an example of and to do time.

  6. What I find most disturbing is how some people think it is OK to assault others when they are unhappy about something. Seriously, why physically assault others? I think many of them are simply bullies who enjoy assaulting others. There are people like this of all ethnicities and in all countries on this planet.

    On a different note, Gary please don’t post articles on acts of personal violence. We are innundated with stories of violent acts on all the other news media. I visit the travel blogs to get away from all the negative news and don’t want to be fed even more on a travel blog.

  7. Attacking people who are just doing their jobs.
    There is no excuse for assaulting another person. Is not that the message we are trying to get across for a while, so what is your excuse for doing just that to another person why are you entitled. BLM so does everyone else respect everyone they matter just like you and me.

  8. At what point is someone going to do a story that reveals why this keeps happening on Spirit? It’s so odd. There comes a time when you have to examine if the policies and training of staff are encouraging this from people. I mean, every airline has its share of crazies, but it seems, especially given the carriers size, that there is a disproportionate amount of violence and drama on Spirit aircraft. Just saying, ‘they attract crazies is not enough.” Do they attract them? Or do they encourage them because of poor training? Why do we not see this on Southwest aircraft regularly?

    I’m actually tempted to fly them to see what it’s all about and why.

  9. They’re obviously being oppressed by the flight delay. I hope one day my brothers and sisters can enjoy flights that push back on time.

  10. @Stuart,

    At what point will people like you stop blaming others for the savage behavior of people?
    How about personal accountability?

    More to the story? Are you actually trying to justify the behavior of these neanderthals? really? If you want to go that route, how about the element that chooses to fly on Spirit? Don’t think you like this response because it points right back at you.

  11. Just another reason not to fly Spirit. Yes, all airlines have their share of incidents, but Spirit seems to have more than their fair share.

  12. I guess BLM only when the assailant is white. Spirit caters to a lot of people who normally don’t fly, who have no idea about etiquette and some who simply have no class.

    And to UA-NYC how did those polls showing Hillary with a big lead in the last election work out for you?

  13. Untrained animals that need to walk instead of flying once they are arrested for assault & battery, racialism, public disturbance, possession of a weapon banned for life by all airlines.

  14. Talk about not fitting the narrative. I don’t see a Karen anywhere in the video!

  15. @Cmorgan – keep pretending it’s 2016…3.5 years of evidence of a truly epically disastrous presidency is a slightly different situation.

  16. Spirit is a flying WalMart…and you know the high-class folks who populate your local WalMart…

  17. Why aren’t they charged with a hate crime..If it was white on black there would be.protesting saying charge them with a hate crime they would be trying to burn down the airport. Cause that’s what they do burn and be violent and they think they can do what they want. Lock them up for ten years on a hate crime.

  18. I have flown Spirit numerous times and have always been meet with the utmost professional courtesy. These gate agents are doing their best with salaries that are substandard. They are usually hired by an outside company and not by Spirit. It is a low cost airline and is filling the gap for those who can’t afford the exorbitant prices of most large carriers. Don’t put down something just because it fills a need for those who need and want this service.
    The problem with those who complain about Spirits service are the ones who are never satisfied. They think we should all be treated as their servants.

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