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Disruptive, loud and aggressive passenger ignored by the flight crew

CtTraveler
New Arrival

On my flight from Baltimore to Hartford on 10/8 I was seated in the second to last row. The passenger seated behind me was loud, inappropriate and disruptive (this behavior began 35 minutes before takeoff). . Calling the crew profane names, and saying such things as he was going to “bite a crew member” and being very loud using the same 4 letter profanity over and over again. His behavior was almost completely ignored by the crew. At one point before take off a crew member walked past and briefly told the man to not be so loud. His behavior did not change and through the 52 minute flight all passengers in the rear of the plane were forced to endure his behavior. It was not a safe environment. Yet the crew did nothing to remedy the situation. 

     I called Southwest on Monday to voice my concern about the flight and was told I would receive a call from customer service. Today a received an email from Southwest which was a auto-reply that said “Sorry the fellow passenger was loud. “ and  “we’ll try to do better next time”. 
     How do I get customer service to contact me by phone as I was told they would, so that I can speak to an actual person and explain my serious concerns over the lack of action by the flight crew in regard to this passenger? 

10 REPLIES 10

Re: Disruptive, loud and aggressive passenger ignored by the flight crew

bec102896
Top Contributor

You can share your feedback with Southwest by clicking on “contact us” at the bottom of this page just fill out that form and someone should be in contact with you as soon as they investigate (could take up to 30 days for a response in some cases) 

Re: Disruptive, loud and aggressive passenger ignored by the flight crew

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

What would you have wanted crew to do? Escalate the situation mid air and make the individual more upset? Stuff a sock in their mouth? Options are limited when locked inside a metal tube 35,000 feet in the air. If the situation was purely verbal abuse towards the crew and other passengers were not in danger I can see that ignoring might actually be the best course of action while in the air. 

 

Additionally, what more should Southwest do for you? How do you know they are not already pursuing other action based on the information you've already provided? They've apologized to you for you not having a pleasant flight, case closed.

 

Should you insist on something more, whatever that is, use the contact us link at the bottom of this page and send a message. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Disruptive, loud and aggressive passenger ignored by the flight crew

floridaguy
Active Member

The choice was also to land the plane at the nearest airport and turn the passenger over to TSA.  I believe that is what the OP had in mind.  

 

Based upon the story, I agree.  The captain should have landed the plan and had the person arrested by TSA.

Re: Disruptive, loud and aggressive passenger ignored by the flight crew

tappingmom1
Active Member

Pretty sure TSA officers can't make arrests...  

Re: Disruptive, loud and aggressive passenger ignored by the flight crew

floridaguy
Active Member

Yes, referred to TSA then arrested by local law enforcement.

Re: Disruptive, loud and aggressive passenger ignored by the flight crew

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@floridaguy wrote:

The choice was also to land the plane at the nearest airport and turn the passenger over to TSA.  I believe that is what the OP had in mind.  

 

Based upon the story, I agree.  The captain should have landed the plan and had the person arrested by TSA.


 

You're going to divert a plane and delay hundreds of passengers because a guy is yelling while in his seat? Based on the information provided no passengers were harmed or threatened and crew kept things from getting worse. Getting to an alternative airport may have also taken more time than just completing the flight as scheduled. Again, based on the limited information provided, it sounds to me like the issue may have been annoying, but was handled appropriately.

 

TSA may like to pretend they handle law enforcement while wearing their shiny badges, but they would have no role in this if the issue actually warranted law enforcement.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Disruptive, loud and aggressive passenger ignored by the flight crew

floridaguy
Active Member

middleseat - I would ask that you tone down your comments.

 

I was on a flight with my fiancé going to Las Vegas and a passenger refused to follow crew instructions.  

 

The plane turned around after reaching the runway and returned to the gate.  I was thinking that the plan was going to another runway.

 

The pilot then came back and explained why the plane returned to the gate.  He said that if you don't follow crew instructions, you don't fly.  He was applauded.

 

According to my research, this passenger was greeted by TSA then turned over to Federal authorities who imposed a fine of $42.500 and Southwest billed for time and fuel due to the delay.  I was an eyewitness to the events.

 

So, it is also within the jurisdiction of the pilot to land the plane and remove the passenger.

Re: Disruptive, loud and aggressive passenger ignored by the flight crew

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

@floridaguy wrote:

So, it is also within the jurisdiction of the pilot to land the plane and remove the passenger.


Sure, the pilot can make any decision they want, but removal is not always the best way to handle an issue. As neither of us were there it is impossible to say the situation should have been handled differently than it was. 

 

What exactly would you like me to "tone down"? I'm expressing disagreement with an opinion and disputing your statement. Are you suggesting that is not appropriate? Are you offended by my comments about TSA and their shiny badges that mean nothing?

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Disruptive, loud and aggressive passenger ignored by the flight crew

dfwskier
Top Contributor

1


@floridaguy wrote:

middleseat - I would ask that you tone down your comments.

 

I was on a flight with my fiancé going to Las Vegas and a passenger refused to follow crew instructions.  

 

The plane turned around after reaching the runway and returned to the gate.  I was thinking that the plan was going to another runway.

 

 There is a HUGE difference between an incident that occurs BEFORE takeoff as opposed to AFTER takeoff Before takeoff it is a simple matter of a short delay and the offending person is booted from the plane.  Thus, Crews are less tolerant before takeoff.. After takeoff, diverting to any airport provides lots of opportunity for trouble: After takeoff crews will divert when there is danger, and try to live with it when there is not. Why? see below

 

1)Diversions can take lots of time

2) Significant delay caused by diversion can affect every other flight that plane is scheduled to fly that day - affecting potentially thousands of people at different airports

3 Delay can affect connections of the 100+ people on the plane - potentially stranding some of them if no later flights are available.

4 ) The diversion increases the crew's flight time - potentially risking a "time out"

 situation where, by federal law, more than X hours of "on clock" time, crews are prohibited from flying   -either on the current flight or one later in the day.  Then Southwest needs find a new crew and get them to the airport. Or I guess it could cancel the flight - irritating a bunch more people.

5) Landing at an airport that is not a normal Southwest destination potentially puts the plane in a situation where no one at the airport is capable/authorized to service the plane - potentially inconveniencing every single passenger on board

 

The story about the guy on your flight that was fined $42,500 would be an interesting read. Please provide a link so I can learn all about it.