American Airlines Transcon Flight Diverted After Passenger Attacks Flight Attendant Over Mask Rule

By Kurt Stolz on 28 October 2021
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A transcontinental American Airlines flight was diverted to Denver after a passenger assaulted a flight attendant over the face mask rule.

American Flight 976, which had departed New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport at 4:29 p.m. local time en route to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, was diverted due to the incident.

The passenger was arrested at the gate upon arrival after landing at Denver International Airport at 6:30 p.m. local time.

At press time, no details about the passenger’s identity or what he was charged with were available, but American said it was “outraged” by the attack.

“Acts of violence against our team members will not be tolerated by American Airlines,” the airline said in a written statement. “The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with American Airlines in the future, but we will not be satisfied until he has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This behavior must stop, and aggressive enforcement and prosecution of the law is the best deterrent.”

One witness told reporters at the scene that the flight attendant had “blood splattered on the outside of her mask”after being struck in the face, WABC-TV of New York City reported.

The flight attendant suffered unspecified injuries, according to local news reports.

The Airbus A321 continued to California some three hours after landing in Denver.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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