- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, New York JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Robert Isom
- United States
Law enforcement officers arrested a passenger after allegedly punching a flight attendant on a flight to Los Angeles. The incident happened on Wednesday, onboard a flight from San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, to Los Angeles.
The incident happened on American Airlines flight 377, which departed San Jose del Cabo (SJD) at 14:52 for the two-hour flight to Los Angeles. The Airbus A321-200 landed one minute early at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 15:54 when the man was escorted off the plane by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers and arrested. Using the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s what happened:
This is ugly and happens too often
CBS News named the man 33-year-old Alexander Tung Cuu Le, who was arrested after the flight landed on suspicion of interfering with a flight crew, which is a federal offense. If convicted on this charge, Le faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in a US federal prison. CBS reported details surrounding Le’s behavior are contained in an affidavit filed with the complaint. It says that Le left his seat about 20 minutes after take-off and grabbed a flight attendant’s shoulder to ask for coffee, moments later grabbing both shoulders from behind. The crew member stepped back and put up a “defensive posture,” and Le walked to the front of the cabin, sitting in an unoccupied first class seat.
Another flight attendant asked Le to return to his allocated seat, but prosecutors say he refused to comply, stood up and “put up both his fists.” According to the affidavit, Le swung and missed, and the crew member turned to walk away and report the unruly behavior to the pilot. What happened next is all in the video, and it’s very clear to see the assault against the flight attendant. Le then calmly walks away and takes a seat, although he was restrained by several passengers and moved to another row where he was handcuffed. Federal officials say he was restrained because he kept unbuckling his seatbelt, and the crew had to use seatbelt extenders to secure him.
Banned by American but free to travel on other airlines?
This unruly passenger is banned from American Airlines flights for life, but is that enough for this act? Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
The FBI is investigating because the incident occurred in the air, and because of this, the LAX police are not involved. American Airlines issued a statement that described what happened and added:
“Acts of violence against our team members are not tolerated by American Airlines. The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with us in the future, and we will work closely with law enforcement in their investigation. We thank our crew for their quick action and professionalism to ensure the safety of their fellow team members and customers onboard. Our thoughts are with our injured flight attendant, and we are ensuring that they and their fellow crew members have the support they need at this time.”
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While American airlines have banned this passenger, he still has plenty of other airlines to choose from. If the charges are proven, should these bans automatically apply to all commercial airlines operating in the US?
Source: CBS News