Unruly Spirit Airlines passenger faces federal charges for assaulting crew

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A Spirit Airlines (S64) (SAVE) passenger surrendered herself to FBI agents in Nashville on December 28, 2021, and will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge, according to a statement by the Tennessee US Attorney’s Office. 

Amanda Renee Henry, 43, of Lebanon, Tennessee, is facing federal charges following an incident on board Spirit Airlines (S64) (SAVE) flight NK 222 flying from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Nashville on November 27, 2021.

The criminal complaint states that Henry became disruptive on the flight and appeared to be intoxicated. Passengers seated next to Henry requested to be moved to other seats due to Henry’s behavior. 

But as Henry was seated next to an emergency exit, flight attendants, concerned for the safety of the other passengers, decided to move Henry to another seat. Henry refused to move, grabbed her carry-on bag and ran toward the front of the aircraft screaming, “I’m getting off this plane.” 

Another flight attendant tried to block Henry from getting to the main cabin door and began to restrain her, at which time Henry began to kick and hit the flight attendant. Henry also assaulted another flight attendant who assisted in trying to restrain her.

After flight attendants were able to restrain Henry, a passenger who happened to be an off-duty firefighter assisted by sitting with Henry and keeping her calm for the duration of the flight. 

When the plane landed at Nashville International Airport, Henry was arrested by the Nashville Airport Department of Public Safety and charged with public intoxication.

“In accordance with the Attorney General’s directive, the prosecution of those who endanger the safety of airline passengers, flight crews, and flight attendants is a priority of this office,” said U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Mark A. Wildasin.

“Those whose behavior disrupts or otherwise endangers the safety of persons on aircrafts should expect to face federal charges.”

If convicted of the federal offense, Henry faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Henry is the most recent passenger to be accused of unruly behavior and arrested this year. A woman was also arrested on December 28, 2021 for allegedly assaulting a fellow passenger aboard a Delta Air Lines flight.

The assault was captured by another passenger on the flight. The argument began when the accused brought African-American Rosa Parks into the conversation. 

The accused has been identified as Patricia Yannet Cornwall, a former model and Baywatch actor.

Due to the alarming number of incidents of unruly behavior on flights, the US Department of Justice directed all US attorneys in November 2021 to prioritize the prosecution of airline passengers who have committed federal crimes aboard aircraft.

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