Spirit Airlines Gate Agent Attacked By Passenger And Hospitalized Following Carry On Bag Dispute

Spirit Airlines passengers brawl. While almost everything at Spirit Airlines comes with a fee, the entertainment from other passengers is free – it just needs coded warning labels like TV or the movies. This time, in Detroit, though things really got out of hand.

If you’re going to fly Spirit there are some basics to know, like that you’ll be charged not just for checked bags but if you want to bring a carry on bag that’s larger than a purse or laptop back. If it has to go in the overhead bin, there’s a fee.

When a gate agent decided to measure the size of a passenger’s bag on Sunday, that passenger took offence. (Apparently they didn’t know this hack to scam free checked bags from Spirit.)

As Sunday’s Spirit Airlines flight NK646 from Detroit to Atlanta was boarding at gate D15 a gate agent stopped a passenger to check the size of their bag. The passenger objected and words became physical, turning into an “all out brawl” of passengers attacking airline employees.

One passenger tried to yank the boarding door back open as employees attempted to close it. That employee says he was “poked in the eye and punched in the face” while a colleague “ended up in a pile of people” before eventually being sent to the hospital for injuries.

There were several people without masks in the battle royale and a passenger holding their baby was even caught up in the altercation. Someone “pulled the baby away” before the employee was tackled to the ground.

It took about two minutes for police to show up and then break up the fight. Two passengers were arrested and will be arraigned today. A third passenger was cited and released.

A flight attendant shared this video of the incident to social media. Some language that can be heard is certainly ‘NSFW’.

According to Spirit Airlines,

All of us at Spirit wish the agents a speedy recovery and thank them for their courage and professionalism. We also thank law enforcement for responding quickly and arresting those involved in the attack. 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 and these passengers will be banned from any future travel with Spirit. Further questions about this incident should be referred to law enforcement.

Of course things might have gotten even more out of control if this had been a Spirit Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale where every ‘Spirit Airlines passenger’ is also Florida Man.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Before I saw the video I thought , “well…it’s Detroit. must be those darn Amish again”…

  2. What do you expect on a $13 flight? I will say it again, spirit airlines is the public transportation of the sky. You almost have to expect this type of behavior when you book spirit.

  3. To bad the assault wasn’t for the “right” reasons…..nobody would have been arrested. Over/under on a prosecution here?……exactly.

  4. Isn’t that the soundtrack from when the Washington DC “protestors” were harassing restaurant patrons eating outside?

  5. Waiting for CNN to report them as a bunch of Trump Terrorists because you can hear someone using the N word! Actually, have never had trouble in Detroit Airport as there are still plenty of good folk left in the area. These people in the video are the exception, just like the right and left wing folks who went into the US Capitol. (Forget CNN “fact checking” telling you there were no liberals in the Capitol Riot and go straight to the arrest reports when you want real facts.)

  6. I can’t believe these heathens!! I’m a flt att with a major airline. Prosecute! Spirit, never let them fly yours or any other airline again. Real classy momma that hands her baby off to join in the beating of one person against 4 or 5. I’m a biden supporter, but no one should act crazy as y’all. DONT FLY!! If you can’t follow the rules.

  7. I can’t believe that required hospitalization. What a waste of hospital resources, especially given the circumstances we’re in.

  8. @Susan. Many health-conscious Spirit Airlines passengers know that when you forget to hand off your baby before engaging in the aerobic activity of attacking passengers or flight crew members, you could get in trouble for child endangerment.

    Interesting to note two of three Detroit television stations blurred the video.

    FOX2 Detroit posts this (unblurred) video: https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/2-arrested-in-metro-detroit-airport-fight-that-hospitalized-spirit-airlines-agent-sunday

    WXYZ-TV posts this Spirit Airlines fight video: https://www.wxyz.com/news/spirit-airlines-employee-hospitalized-after-assault-at-dtw

  9. Wonder why they blurr…..oh wait nevermind, I know why. Think if the perp was wearing a MAGA hat they would have blurred it? We are entering a period in this country where government officials and politicians are telling sizeable amount of the population that they are worthless, should cease to exist or be “de-programmed” (aka re-educated). For all of you who think this is funny, look no further than the failures of the past and some present. I’ll start you off with late 30s Germany and present-day North Korea, if you haven’t had enough, you can look to the Katyn Massacre, the Armenian Genocide then bounce on down to Rwanda….All while viewing the show of government force in the newly occupied American city of Washington, DC.
    “Unity” is not really off to a great start.

  10. Some people just not fit to travel. When you offer fares lower than a Greyhound bus ticket you get a class of people one tier below a Greyhound bus passenger. Nuff said.

  11. It is a shame that this occurred. This is the fuel that racist people feed off of! This is not typical of black people though many want to believe it because they are racist. Someone said it right when they said it is a culture issue and I believe a $13.00 flight drew these people. I would appreciate a 13.00 fare being a senior. Too bad those people spoil it for everyone! I am very embarrassed by this incident this hurts the black movement and I want my black people from this culture to know your action hurt us all!

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