California; Southwest Airlines has barred a woman blamed for punching a flight attendant in the face last weekend in an incident that spotlighted a recent increase in violent passengers. An airline official announced the embargo on Thursday in a notice to employees.
The event occurred soon after a plane from Sacramento, California, arrived in San Diego on Sunday morning. San Diego Harbor Police arrested Vyvianna Quinonez, 28, and laden her with felony battery. The airline said the passenger neglected directions from the flight attendant before attacking her. A short video shared by another person on the flight reveals a woman hitting the flight attendant and a male passenger intervening to prevent the attack.
Police said that Quinonez is 5-foot-5 and 175 pounds and the flight attendant endured “serious injuries.” The president of her association said she lost two teeth. Sonya Lacore, Southwest’s vice president of in-flight operations, told flight attendants that the airline has a method for permanently preventing passengers, and “the passenger involved in the most latest incident has been informed that she may no longer travel on Southwest Airlines.”
The Dallas-based airline has not disclosed the identity details of the flight attendant, who was administered at a San Diego hospital and discharged. Lacore said she has reached her, “and we will continue to provide her the support she needs.”The president of the union, Lyn Montgomery, indicated the event this week in asking the airline to react more vigorously when passengers are disruptive and to lobby for more federal air marshals on aviation.