Flight Attendant Attacks Crew & Air Marshals

Filed Under: American, Media

We hear all the time about passengers going crazy on flights and attacking fellow passengers and crew. But it’s not often we hear about a flight attendant attacking fellow crew members and even air marshals.

That’s exactly what happened on an American flight between Charlotte and Frankfurt this past week, whereby a crew member attacked her colleagues and even the air marshals, on both legs of the journey. And even though the crew tried to have her removed before the outbound flight even left, apparently American wouldn’t replace her.


Via The Charlotte Observer:

According to the affidavit by federal Air Marshal Joseph D. Fialka, who was assigned to the round trip, Snow slapped other flight attendants and shoved, punched or kicked at marshals. Fialka says that other flight attendants told him before takeoff from Charlotte that they had tried to have Snow removed from duty but that American did not replace her.

In his affidavit, Fialka said Snow confessed to him several times before takeoff that she was “crazy” or a “train wreck.”

Once the doors closed, another attendant told Fialka that Snow had slapped her in the middle galley of the airport. Some 45 minutes later, Fialka says, Snow shoved him several times.

“She was quite irrational at this time,” the marshal said in his affidavit. “She proceeded to the back of the plane, I learned that, while in the back of the plane, she grabbed the collar of the clothing (of another marshal) … and spoke nonsensical things.”

Later, Fialka said he tried to calm Snow. In response, she struck him twice with her open palm in his chest, he said. “The force of this action moved me back. I weigh considerably more than Snow.”

The behavior continued and disrupted the rest of the flight, then resumed on the trip back to Charlotte with the same crew in place, the affidavit says.

Wow. First of all, I hope the flight attendant gets the help she needs. Second of all, it’s kind of shocking how long this was allowed to go on:

  • Flight attendants have the authority to remove passengers over the most minor imaginable things, whereby the cops are called in a heartbeat over virtually nothing
  • In this instance the crew tried to have her removed before departure, but the airline apparently didn’t cooperate
  • After she was clearly acting abusively on the outbound flight she was allowed to continue to work the return flight

Sort of quite a contrast between how passengers are treated and how crew are treated, no?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. What I can’t figure out is why AA wouldn’t replace her, or why the captain didn’t simply refuse to fly with her?

  2. Something just doesn’t add up about this story. I believe it happened, but what are the specific details?

    “..the crew tried to have her removed before departure, but the airline apparently didn’t cooperate”

    Yes, I hope that person gets the help they need – a nice, long prison sentence so they can sort this all out.

  3. Another story about the lovely American crew… Lately people were asking on this blog that when this is going to end? When will finally someone reduce the crew’s power and not let them do whatever they want with the passengers and with their collages? I guess now I have the answer. Only after a seriously bad story when a crew member will do something so terrible that will be a breaking news on all major TV channel.

    Until then we must hope that no one gets injured by a mighty crew member on an American carrier. Lesson: fly European, Asian and Canadian carriers whenever you can and avoid all US carriers; – like I do.

  4. I assume they didn’t replace her because they couldn’t get another crew member in time and as a result would likely force the cancellation of both legs of the flight = lots of $$ loss for American.

  5. @Paul – CLT is a hub for AA. They probably could’ve found a replacement if they really wanted to, albeit with a delay of the flight.

  6. I was on the flight CLT-FRA flight in 4H. Before the flight there was some loud commotion in the galley behind the J cabin from one of the flight attendants (I assume this one) rambling on about not doing some things that are dangerous. I had pretty low expectations to start with so I just figured it was the lack of polish I expected to find from a US carrier. The flight seemed relatively uneventful from my perspective otherwise until we landed and they made an announcement that there was a “medical emergency” and asked everyone to remain seated until they dealt with it. I don’t know exactly what happened once we landed (I couldn’t see anything) but the only person who was up and about was the air marshal who had been seated behind me.

  7. @Nick, 7:29 pm:
    “Yes, I hope that person gets the help they need – a nice, long prison sentence so they can sort this all out.”

    Ummmmmn….and that will help how? Just wondering

  8. Do crews really do a same day turn on an international flight like this? Work CLT-FRA and then immediately work FRA-CLT? I always thought they got some time off in between in which case this story doesn’t make sense at all.

  9. Sounds like a cat fight that got out of control. I’ve seen this on an AC flight before where one FA slept with the other FA’s husband. J class is not that big and we all heard the details. Major cat fight. Didn’t even need my IFE.
    Clearly there was no extra AA FA on board for the requirements of # of FA. Delayed flight would have cost a fortune.

  10. I know AA and US are technically one company now, but CLT-FRA is still a PMUS route… Kinda saying something about the legacy US Airways 😉

  11. matteo: I’m sure it was kinda funny 😀 Did you miss the opportunity to ask her number? You could convince her to get a revenge with you 😀 haha

  12. @snic – Amen! It’s pretty much in every post too! In addition, it’s a ‘formal’ word too and it really doesn’t fit into Lucky’s otherwise more casual writing style.

  13. @Mick

    Mick, it’s like this:

    Assault and Battery:

    Two separate offenses against the person that when used in one expression may be defined as any unlawful and unpermitted touching of another. Assault is an act that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact. The act consists of a threat of harm accompanied by an apparent, present ability to carry out the threat. Battery is a harmful or offensive touching of another.

    The main distinction between the two offenses is the existence or nonexistence of a touching or contact. While contact is an essential element of battery, there must be an absence of contact for assault. Sometimes assault is defined loosely to include battery.

    Assault and battery are offenses in both criminal and Tort Law; therefore, they can give rise to criminal or civil liability. In Criminal Law, an assault may additionally be defined as any attempt to commit a battery.

    Here in America, you just can’t go around slapping someone. We call that a crime, and it is punishable. When people are imprisoned, it prevents them from attacking other people. See how simple it all is?

  14. Someone needs to kick this over to the FAA. If the crew thought she was unfit to fly and American forced them to do it anyway, the FAA will likely fine them 5-6 figures for it. FAA doesn’t mess around with things like this, nor should they.

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