Hawaiian Airlines diverted 2 flights in less than 12 hours after one passenger assaulted a flight attendant and another refused to wear a mask
Mehmet Ali Ozcan / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images
Two Hawaiian Airlines flights were diverted Thursday due to disruption from unruly passengers.
One of the flyers attacked a flight attendant walking down the aisle in an "unprovoked incident".
The stubborn passenger on the other flight refused to wear a mask.
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Hawaiian Airlines rerouted two flights in less than 12 hours this week after unruly passengers caused disruptions on board.
A flight from Honolulu to Hilo was forced to return to the airport Thursday morning after "a passenger assaulted one of our flight attendants who was walking down the aisle in an unprovoked incident," a company spokesman told The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
The passenger, a 32-year-old man, was arrested for third degree assault on departure, a Hawaiian Department of Public Security spokesman told the Associated Press. The FBI is investigating the incident, a spokesman for the agency told AP.
The flight attendant, meanwhile, has been "rated and released from work," Hawaiian Airlines told the star advertiser.
Later on Thursday, another Hawaiian Airlines flight ran into trouble. On a flight from Honolulu to Seattle, a passenger refused to wear a mask and "caused disruption," a company spokesman told the star advertiser. Flight attendants and an off-duty pilot de-escalated the situation, but the flight was rerouted out of caution. Nobody was injured.
The incidents occur amid an increase in passenger disruptions on board commercial flights. The FAA said this week that it has received more than 4,000 reports of recalcitrant passengers so far this year, but only one has resulted in criminal charges. This incident involved a Southwest Airlines passenger who slapped a flight attendant in the face in a viral video. Many flight attendants are struggling with burnout and negative mental health effects due to the increase in passenger violence, Allana Akhtar told Insider.
Delta Airlines recently announced it banned 1,600 passengers and urged others in the industry to share their "no-fly" passenger lists as well.
Hawaiian Airlines did not respond to a request for comment.
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