SOUTHWEST Airlines have permanently banned a passenger from flying with them after a physical incident on a flight.
The passenger was flying from Sacramento, California, to San Diego on May 23, 2021.
Why did Southwest Airlines ban passenger Vyvianna Quinonez?
Southwest passenger Vyvianna Quinonez was banned from flying with the airline after she allegedly struck a flight attendant.
Sonya Lacore, Southwest's vice president of in-flight operations, sent a now-viral memo around to flight attendants announcing the ban wrote USA Today.
The memo read:
"As we’ve communicated previously, we do have a process to permanently restrict passengers from traveling on Southwest, and please know that the passenger involved in the most recent incident has been advised that she may no longer fly on Southwest Airlines.''
Southwest organizations have reported that a number of passengers have increasingly become unruly with staff, with some becoming physical.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported a similar spike, many of the incidents tied to mask compliance.
The FAA has adopted a zero-tolerance policy ahead of the summer travel season.
What was Vyvianna Quinonez charged with?
The Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department said Quinonez was charged with battery causing serious bodily injury, a felony.
"According to witnesses, an altercation between a passenger and a flight attendant had taken place during the flight,'' the police department said in a statement.
''During the altercation, the passenger struck the flight attendant, causing serious injuries.''
Southwest's flight attendants union, Transport Workers Union Local 556, was the first to report the altercation to Southwest CEO Gary Kelly wrote USA Today.
"This past weekend, one of our flight attendants was seriously assaulted, resulting in injuries to the face and a loss of two teeth,'' Lyn Montgomery, president of TWU Local 556 said in the letter.
"Unfortunately, this is just one of many occurrences. I write to you today because we cannot tolerate our beloved cohearts (Southwest's word for co-workers) being abused in such a manner, and because I am asking for your help and leadership in ending these travesties.''
"Please don’t mistake my lack of communication for my lack of work behind the scenes to ensure first and foremost, our flight attendant received immediate aid and ongoing care. I have been in contact with her, and we will continue to provide her the support she needs,'' she said.
"I have also been gathering the necessary information to ensure this incident was appropriately reported — a step that must be taken before I can share accurate information with you all, and it’s important to me that you have the facts. I hope by now that you understand where my focus has been since this occurred and that my heart has been deeply troubled.''
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