Spirit Airlines Brawl Leads To Onboard Tasing & Arrest

Filed Under: Spirit, Videos

This is possibly the most uncivilized behavior I’ve ever seen filmed on a plane… and that’s saying a lot. This even caused an arrest, and the bail for the passenger who is accused of being the instigator has been set at $150,000.

Fight erupts on Spirit Airlines flight

Sunday afternoon’s Spirit Airlines flight from Newark to San Juan didn’t end too well, as a huge fight was caught on video. This happened at around 7PM, shortly after the plane landed at San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.

In it you can see passengers trying to knock one another out, police tase and arrest a passenger, and more. Here’s video footage of the incident, to start:

Why do people have to act like this? I just don’t get it. I get tensions are high in this country (in terms of politics, being tired of coronavirus, etc.), but please don’t act this way.

What caused this Spirit Airlines incident?

As usual there are several sides to every story, so what do we know about this incident? David Begnaud does a good job recapping the situation on Twitter:

  • According to police, 24-year-old Nyasy Veronique Payne “provoked an incident by acting in what witnesses called an aggressive, hostile, and defiant behavior,” as she hit a 28-year-old man
  • The man who filmed the above video claims the fight broke out because the woman (who is seen punching, and then tased) refused to wear a mask
  • The woman ended up being arrested, spending the night in jail, and bail was set at $150,000

Another passenger claims that this isn’t quite what happened. According to him, the situation escalated long before what’s seen on video:

  • During the flight there was another passenger who kept moving around and switching seats, and wasn’t wearing a mask
  • Flight attendants asked the passenger to stop, though he refused, so the plan for police to meet the flight came long before the incident seen on video
  • There were apparently three women traveling with the above man who also weren’t wearing masks, and refused to listen to the crew
  • Once on the ground, three men began yelling homophobic and racial slurs at three Black women; one of those men apparently hit the woman first, and that’s the point in the above video at which you see her starting to punch people

This is just plain sad…

There are conflicting reports as to what the initial cause of the fight was, though I’m inclined to believe that the situation already escalated prior to what’s seen on video, given how fast the police is onboard (or who knows, maybe the police meets every Spirit Airlines flight from Newark to San Juan… that wouldn’t surprise me either).

Regardless, this situation just makes me sad. Wear a mask. Don’t be racist and homophobic. Deescalate situations, especially on a plane. And don’t get physical (or verbal).

(Tip of the hat to @conratravel)

  1. This is the typical behavior of Spirit airlines passengers. There have been numerous incidents on Spirit airlines like this. I’ve commented many times here on why spirit is the worst airlines ever. Spirit is the greyhound of the skies and should be avoided at all cost. I’m being snobbish and so what!

  2. I’ve given up on traveling…forever. I’m glad I saw the world with my family when I was young. Retirement years will be spent reading books by the fireplace. No one will allow Americans into their countries anyway. I can’t even cross state lines without a quarantine upon return. Vaccines won’t fix that. A new president won’t fix that. People are scared and offended by everything and anything. We’re toast. Now what to do with all my points……….

  3. I said this on Gary’s blog and I’ll say it’s here, I am starting to get annoyed by these WorldStar-type posts and videos on travel blogs. We get that some customers behave badly, but not every incident deserves posting. Incidents that involve crew and interpretations of travel rules are relevant, but brawls and fights just show people in a bad light for pure entertainment, and take advantage of people at their worst moments

  4. Like I always say I loved to go back to 1965 and ask a bunch of flyers would you like to see what air travel will be like in 2020? You could imagine their dreams of super sonic luxury. Then the looks on their face when I would show them this video.

  5. The ultimate issue is that this was SPIRIT airlines. As was said before, its the Greyhound of the skies. Just fly Delta.

  6. This mask thing is crazy. First, why were these people allowed on board without a mask? I would be just as irate with those people moving around the cabin with no mask. This isn’t a matter of freedom. It’s a matter of safety and health. I’m with the other person. I’m retired. Wished I’d done a little more traveling when I was younger, but I will never fly again. I made that decision on a Southwest flight 3 years ago. Flying is no longer comfortable.

  7. @anthony We need this to move from Worldstar to Homestar. Just substitute Strong Bad and Trogdor the Burninator.


  8. Woohoo let the games begin. The least they could do to elevate the level of entertainment would be to allow baseball bats onboard!

  9. @Michael Hinz – They have a mask on when they board. This allows them to walk past the gate agent and flight attendants at the boarding door. But once they are seated, at some point during the flight, they take the mask off or pull it down around their chin. Then, problems ensue.

  10. I hope Matthew keeps posting these stories. These passengers need to be shamed, not that many of them are probably capable of feeling shame.

  11. What is the point of this article? To tacitly — and without explicit commentary — draw attention to the alleged ape-like nature and maturity of Blacks and Hispanics?!? Outrageous. This is just another white privileged report on the trials and tribulations of less advantaged tiers in our society.

    Only 1/3 of the U.S. population is Black or Hispanic, yet nearly 100% or the OMAAT blog posts regarding violent behavior and airline brawls involve this demographic. Systemic racism [on this blog] is alive and well!

  12. The US needs a public funded health system. One that covers psychiatry and psychology plus medicine. A family doctor and a primary health care system that focus on prevention of any kind of disease, including mental ones. It would not solve 100% of the problems, but it would surely help society as a whole.

  13. Chadwick , you sly little prick, nicely done. You just spilled your poison, (ape-like nature and maturity of Blacks) and went on blaming my innocent Matzo Ball pounding innocent boy .

  14. I came for genuine airline/travel news. I got Jerry Springer instead. It’s lean pickings right now, I get it, but does this trash masquerading as ‘news’ really need to get posted?! Even as a salutary lesson its not worthwhile.

  15. Literally, Lucky said in the last paragraph “Don’t be racist and homophobic.” Then you have Grant’s comment. Amazing…

  16. This is crazy . This is what you get when you book $20 return trip with spirit .

    Just pay extra and fly American or Delta for a peaceful journey with civilised people

  17. Anthony and John, that item upon which your hand is resting is called a ‘mouse’, or if you are using another device, it’s just your finger. It gives you the infinite power to open or not open what you chose to read or not read, once you see the headline. So stop whining about what is published on this site. End of story.

  18. How dare @Chad exclude whites from this form of Spirited in-flight entertainment!
    Doesn’t he know that America is bountiful with the very best/worst white trailer trash in the entire world? And that Spirit Airlines is their airline of choice?

  19. @Chad: According to the end of the article, passengers on the flight allege it was really 3 racist white men who started it all, and threw the first punch.

  20. Chad you are all that is wrong with today’s society. You are the poster child of the cancel culture. The OP is not selectively posting incidents involving minorities only, as you would have us believe. Go post your rankings on some other liberal PC blog. I am quite sure they will welcome you with open arms.

  21. I have taken a couple of flights recently. Many people are not wearing a mask or wearing it improperly with their nose out (which is the same thing as not wearing a mask. In addition, beverages and snacks are served so many people have their masks off for significant portions of the flight. What to do? I won’t be flying again for a while, I was actually pretty shocked how unsafe the whole experience feels.

  22. I am confused by masks, vaccines and social precautions being political statements in the US. Furthermore, why is it that a majority of unruly behavior in-flight happen in the US? There is something terribly wrong with society and the idea of privileges in the US.

  23. Recently flew for business within India, where masks, face shields and sanitizers are mandatory and provided by the airlines. Never once on the dozen or so flights did I observe disorderly behavior nor frustration. Echoing @Emily: People tend to mistake individual privileges with personal freedom.

  24. Is this just troubled and frustration with bad behaviour or something more serious simmering in the country

  25. All I can conclude from many of the comments by the PC Marxists here is that it’s fine to criticise if the offenders are Caucasian but not if they are Black or Hispanic. These fools think they are being considerate but they are simply being racist.

  26. Why blame Spirit here? This is the real representation of the American society…and everyone knows it very well without tuning in to CNN..

  27. Mucho calor. Ok this is latin blood which we know has heat for good reasons, lovers, but also for fighters. God Bless them all.

  28. Ben,
    I am disappointed by the following statement made in the closing of the article, “or who knows, maybe the police meets every Spirit Airlines flight from Newark to San Juan… that wouldn’t surprise me either.”

    One should not remark that Newark travelers, Spirit Passengers, and Puerto Ricans traveling together should routinely greeted by police … The undertones here are racist, classist, and disrespectful.

  29. Y’all blame this on Spirit, when its really just a reflection of Americans in general. I say this as an American – people are selfish as hell.

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