People Are Still Getting In Fights On Spirit Airlines

Filed Under: Spirit

At a time when just about everything related to air travel has changed, there’s still one constantpeople are still getting in fights on Sprit Airlines flights.

In the latest such incident, a fight broke out on a Spirit Airlines flight last Thursday from Los Angeles to Detroit. The flight in question was NK709, a redeye flight operated by an Airbus A320 that diverted to Des Moines due to the fight. According to WDIV, and per eyewitness reports:

  • A passenger said other passengers were being too loud while he was trying to sleep, and he was beaten bloody
  • Passengers asked the crew why they weren’t doing anything, and the crew allegedly responded “we don’t get paid enough to deal with this” (which is oh-so-true)
  • The plane ended up diverting to Des Moines, where the plane stayed for two hours
  • Before the plane diverted, the passengers with blood all over their clothes changed, as they didn’t want to be recognized
  • The passengers involved in the fight were allowed back onboard after being taken off, as police “didn’t have jurisdiction to arrest anyone”

As a passenger on the flight explains:

“We were in shock, really. We couldn’t believe it was happening. It was really scary. I had my kids with me and everybody was like, ‘Oh my God.’

They didn’t clean the blood. We sat there for two hours, everyone sucking everyone’s coronavirus.”

A passenger also mentions how she “couldn’t believe” how packed the flight was. C’mon folks, stop expecting that any flight you take will be empty, because it’s unlikely to be the case with the capacity cuts we’ve seen.

Here’s an interview with a passenger on the flight, as well as blurred footage of the incident:

While Spirit Airlines is known for the fights that unfold on their flights, one has to wonder if fighting on planes is about to get exponentially worse across the board. With a desire for social distancing and people being in tight spaces, not to mention new face mask regulations, I feel like we might just see more onboard fights than ever before.

Only time will tell…

  1. I’ve truly enjoyed reading this and having a chuckle. Nice to ‘normal stuff’ still going on. And Spirit even refunded the woman her fare.

  2. I am just jealous that you can still fly. I am Australian so 3 flights cancelled and sitting waiting for an early June flight to be cancelled. Not really fussed as it was a status run to AKL for both QF and Hyatt. Park Hyatt has been delayed and status has been extended on QF so no need for a status run. Am waiting for QF to cancel the flight.

    Interestingly, the NZ PM is meeting with the Australian government today to discuss opening the borders between the 2 countries so you never know. Being able to use my passport and get on a plane would actually be rather exciting!

    Meanwhile I tried to cancel my SQ flight for June online (it is a points redemption), and I can’t even do that – so waiting for them to cancel.

  3. This is why I think Spirit is the overlooked airline to survive the COVID-19 crisis.

    They still have a full flight on a Thursday redeye and LIVE inflight entertainment, it can’t get better than this.

    With Buffet tanking airlines stocks, it’s time to SAVE.

  4. “Passengers asked the crew why they weren’t doing anything, and the crew allegedly responded “we don’t get paid enough to deal with this” (which is oh-so-true)”
    So they say they are there for our safety, not for our comfort. Ok, if they are not willing to do their basic duty, they shouldn’t be working as flight attendant then. I can understand the frustration of low pay, but if they can’t perform their basic duty, you might as well just hire a waiter to serve drinks. It is like you hire security to patrol your business, but he/she just sit all day. When asked why he/she is not patrolling, they say they are not paid enough. So what’s the point? I never understood this here in the west, if the pay is not good enough to do the work you were hired to do, then why they take it?

  5. “Passengers asked the crew why they weren’t doing anything, and the crew allegedly responded “we don’t get paid enough to deal with this” (which is oh-so-true)” – I anticipate Spirit airlines having to pay out significantly in a lawsuit because their staff failed to protect customers. What a crap airline.

  6. Look at the interesting choice of “Flight to Michigan” instead of “Flight to Detroit”. I sure wonder why they made that little change, huh?

  7. I had a Spirit flight attendant on a flight from Bogota to Fort Lauderdale tell me he would be the first to exit the plane in an emergency, because he doesn’t get paid enough. Fair enough.

  8. @james. While not a nice thing to tell a passenger, it’s true flight attendants are poorly paid given all the work they have to do. Although right now we should be lucky if we are employed!

  9. In other news Spirit finally mandated passengers wear face masks.

    They’ll sell you a mask for a $50 fee.

    If you may wear your own mask , you’ll be charged a $75 “convenience fee”.

  10. I’m surprised no one tried to stop the attacker. None of the seat neighbors tried to do anything. Also, why didn’t the guy who got punched press charges for assault?

  11. Why was someone traveling with their kids? Essential travel is one thing but why is anyone flying for any other reason?

  12. What a disgusting bunch of low class individuals, passengers and crew. What do you call them in the USA … Trailer trash?

  13. Well, given that NK had $16 fares DTW-LAX a few weeks ago, I can’t say I’m surprised.

  14. I’m glad they gave her a refund,I’d imagine that $15 fare helped with the groceries 😉

  15. Ghetto Airlines. Glad that carrier is available for those essential travelers so they don’t end up on the airlines I fly.

  16. The dude probably thought, “If I beat the crap out of this guy I’m gonna be a star on social media.”

    How perfect, Ben assured it.

    Leave it to the blogger that loves a “drama” packed reality series to further the spread of man’s inhumanity to man.

  17. So, the police didn’t take any in custody because they had no jurisdiction? What does it make to have jurisdiction? This is the most silly answer I have listened to. Two individuals, one is even violent and, despite the pandemic, beats bloody another person and everything is just alright. They even get back to the flight as nothing has happened. I don’t have any words for this. Honestly.

  18. I am curious what you think the FA should do to stop a fist fight in progress? Throw water? Yell? Seems like you need to let it play out and then regroup.

  19. Honestly most people forget we are in a pandemic and people are flying for pleasure because of extreme low prices. Spirit airlines flight have and will continue to be pack because people have no regard for their own lives and others. The crew can only do so much at a time like this who want to touch others. The cops didn’t do their jobs so why is Spirit at fault!

  20. Free on board theatrics. Watch and enjoy as everything else decent on the plane is going to cost you.

  21. They way that guy was throwing those hands, I wouldn’t have done anything. You’d have to be a boxer!

  22. More reason to save up longer and fly business class. The further away I am from everyone else, the better.

  23. Hardly surprising coming from a such a trashy airline. Several years, ago my friend was working at Spirit’s headquarters when the head of customer service at the time was allegedly sleeping with several coworkers including the coo and head of IT… one of the guys found about his rival and as revenge he sent the entire company an email stating the room number that the lady and the other guy would typically get at the Hampton Inn across the company’s headquarters. Moral of the story: a crappy unprofessional airline will attract equally undesirable passengers. My poor friend eventually left to American but things weren’t exactly much better there, haha

  24. The officers using the jurisdiction argument should straight up be fired. They would be detaining the suspect on the basis of them committing assault and then let the Federal government charge them officially. They have the jurisdiction to arrest anyone in their city reasonably suspected of committing a crime. I get their argument was it was in the air but that’s crazy. Otherwise airport cops could never arrest anyone involved in an in air fight.

  25. Will someone tell me exactly what flight attendants ARE paid to do?

    So far my Delta attendant says she’s not paid to help me lift my bag into overhead (I’m a senior). Now these aren’t paid to stop disruptions.

    But they can sure get their asses on their shoulders pretty quick if they don’t like something you are doing and tell you how they can have you removed from the flight.

    And with the new rules requiring masks, what are they going to do if someone refuses to wear one on board? Will it be more of they arent PAID to enforce it?

  26. Spirit is for poor people. I only fly paid first class on the only real airline still in existence: Emirates.

  27. @Patti

    If you cant put your own bag away, you shouldn’t fly. What’s next? You have an accident and the FA will come clean you up?

  28. @John

    Emirates is a pathetic excuse for an airline compared to;

    In J – Etihad, Qatar, Singapore, EVA, Cathay, BA Club Suites, ANA, JAL, to name a few.

    In F – Air France, ANA, Etihad Apartment, and I’m sure a few others.

    Get out a bit more – post COVID. EK J is a laughing joke.

  29. Also @John

    It’s called service, for someone who claims to only fly F, I’m surprised you would expect to lift your bag yourself.

    Also, these imbeciles who claim to fly “only paid EK F” (sic.) What do they do when they fly London to Milan? Book the new EK F suite from Stanstead to Dubai, then Dubai to Malpensa? They don’t consider London City to Linate?!

    How about Singapore to Phuket, on which I had a lovely flight in SQ J. Do they fly SIN-DXB and then DXB-HKT (no F)??

    Back in the day, I used to fly LHR-LIN, and because of my Etihad status I would use the Etihad lounge and spa before flying and be seated in row 1, and be at the Park Hyatt Milan 20 mins after landing.

    I guess to you that’s ridiculous, you only fly EK F, so you would have to fly STN-DXB-MXP!

    Oh and all those miles you accumulate couldn’t be used ever. You only fly paid.

    Seriously enough of the I only paid F, the joke has gotten old.

  30. The Des Moines Police are lame. No authority to arrest because the fight took place over Nebraska? Then get the FBI to arrest.

    If the Des Moines Police are to be believed, nobody should ever get arrested by the police for things on a flight. You could hijack, kill, rape, maim, molest, etc. NO!!!!!!!

  31. @John I hope you’ll remember your own “advice” you gave to Patty when you need someone’s help

  32. I thought that the authorities at the destination could prosecute for activity on the flight or within the country/jurisdiction of the ownership of the airline (e.g. USA for Delta or China for Air China)

  33. If your carry-on is so heavy you can’t lift it to stow, then it’s definitely overweight, simple as that.

  34. The Iowa cops were ducking responsibility, plain and simple. There were multiple federal offenses committed here, and local cops are authorized to arrest people who are suspected of committing those crimes. And if the cops really just don’t want to bother, there is an FBI field office in Des Moines.

    But no matter what, the captain could’ve let the offenders out in Iowa and shut the door in their faces. It was reckless of the captain to continue with those folks still aboard.

  35. “The flight in question was NK709, a redeye flight operated by an Airbus A320 that diverted to Des Moines due to the fight.”

    Why I have trouble understanding it……”due to the flight” what?

  36. “Passengers asked the crew why they weren’t doing anything, and the crew allegedly responded “we don’t get paid enough to deal with this” (which is oh-so-true)”

    Although there may be some truth to that statement, that doesn’t justify in any way their actions (or lack thereof). FAs are there to ensure passengers’ safety, full stop. They should’ve at least attempted to stop that jackass from beating the sh*t out of another passenger. That’s straight up negligence from the crew’s side.

    As harsh as it may sound, these are the sort of people that deserve to get fired.

  37. I mistakenly watched the clip, thinking it was a “fight” and assuming it would be humorous based on the multiple comments. That wasn’t a fight. It was a horrific, brutal assault. And people stood by and watched. I’m flabbergasted that any of you think that’s funny.

  38. Can Ben advise? On all other flights I hear that the Captain has the two men arrested and they are put on some list? Yes?
    Did Spirit not want to be sued by the two men or did Spirit not want the two men off the plane because if they did the other pax could get compensation for delays or inconvenience of flight?
    Or was this a ploy by Spirit to not be out any monies? AA, Delta, United, et al handle this differently. Shouldn’t the flying public be protected from these individuals when they try to fly another airline? Can you explain?

  39. @John

    Miss that part about me being a senior. 99% of the time, I do put my own bag up but there’s always the overhead size that makes it more difficult.

    In THIS particular case, I had broken 4 ribs, had the xrays with me, and, as an underwater photographer, had a bag full of lithium batteries which cannot be checked that was a bit heavy.

    Feel a bit silly now for your snarky reply?

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