Authorities say a woman was arrested on Saturday at Dallas Love Field Airport after reportedly punching a Southwest Airlines employee in the head.
According to the Dallas Police Department, Arielle Jean Jackson, 32, was boarding an aircraft shortly after 12:30 p.m. local time when she got into a “verbal confrontation” with an operations agent near the back of the plane.
Jackson allegedly got into another verbal confrontation with a second operations agent when the agent asked her to leave, before punching the woman in the head with a closed fist, according to police.
According to Dallas police, officers at the airport detained Jackson on counts of aggravated assault. The second operations agent was brought to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
The employee was released the same night and is now “at home recuperating,” according to Southwest Airlines spokesperson Chris Mainz.
“Our whole Southwest Family is wishing her a rapid and full recovery as we offer our thoughts, prayers, and love to her,” Mainz said.
The spokesperson added, “Southwest Airlines maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of harassment or assault and fully supports our Employee as we cooperate with local authorities regarding this unacceptable incident.”
During the COVID-19 epidemic, incidents involving rowdy passengers have increased in the United States. In a poll conducted by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, 85 percent of flight attendants claimed they had dealt with an angry passenger in the previous year, according to Conde Nast Traveler.
Over 5,000 people from 30 airlines were interviewed, and 58 percent stated they had at least five occurrences in the first half of 2021 alone, while 61 percent said passengers had used sexist, racist, or homophobic remarks against them.
As of November 9, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had received 5,114 reports of rowdy passengers on flights in the previous year. Masks were involved in 3,710 of the events.
According to the FAA, 973 investigations and 239 enforcement cases were opened in the previous year. For rowdy passenger situations, the government can suggest a punishment of up to $37,000 per infringement.
According to authorities, an investigation into Saturday’s incident in Dallas is still underway.