Watch: Irate Frontier Airlines Passenger Restrained With Duct Tape After Groping Flight Attendants
Last week, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA released a survey that polled around 5,000 flight attendants and found that more than 85% of them dealt with unruly passengers as air travel increased in 2021. Over 58% of respondents experienced more than five incidents in 2021, and 17% of respondents reported physical incidents.
Maxwell Berry, a 22-year-old resident of Norwalk, Ohio, was arrested at Florida's Miami International Airport last week after allegedly groping two female flight attendants, and assaulting a male flight attendant on a Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Miami, Florida.
According to a police report filed by the Miami-Dade Police Department, Berry was on his third alcoholic drink order when he allegedly brushed his empty cup against the flight attendant's "back side inappropriately. He then went on to grope the breasts of two flight attendants, who then contacted a male flight attendant to intervene.
Soon after the flight attendant intervened, Berry punched the Frontier employee in the face "with a closed fist."
"A fight ensued," the report read, detailing that the male flight attendant and other passengers on the flight attempted to restrain the 22-year-old "and had to tape him down to the seat and tie him down with a seatbelt extender."
Parts of the altercation were captured on camera, and have since been reposted on social media. Berry can be overheard shouting that his parents are worth more than two million dollars.
He also claimed that his grandfather is worth more than a fellow passenger's "f**king life."
"During a flight from Philadelphia to Miami on July 31, a passenger made inappropriate physical contact with a flight attendant and subsequently physically assaulted another flight attendant. As a result, the passenger needed to be restrained until the flight landed in Miami and law enforcement arrived," Frontier Airlines said in a statement.
However, because proper restraint policies were not adhered to, the flight attendant involved in the duct tape situation has been suspended from their duties.
"The flight attendants will be, as required in such circumstances, relieved of flying pending completion of investigation of the events."
Per the latest data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
, the transportation agency has logged 3,715 unruly passenger reports and 2,729 mask-related incidents. A total of 628 investigations have been launched by the FAA, and 99 enforcement cases have been initiated.
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson issued a statement on Tuesday denouncing the decision to suspend a crew member.
"Management should be supporting the crew at this time not suspending them," Nelson said in a quoted statement. "We will be fighting this with every contractual and legal tool available, but we would hope there will be no need for that as management comes to their senses and supports the people on the frontline charged with keeping all passengers safe."
News of the July 31 altercation aboard a Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Miami comes alongside the publication of footage from another incident aboard an American Airlines flight from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Austin, Texas, on August 1.
Passengers aboard the flight can be overheard saying “stop” as one man wearing a mask is seen fighting with a maskless man.
Per local Austin outlet KXAN, the fight occurred “over a seat that couldn’t unrecline.”
American Airlines later confirmed that law enforcement was requested, but Austin Police said the matter was dropped because “neither party wanted to pursue the matter.” Both individuals were ultimately released from police custody.