'People were pretty scared': Passengers describe tense scene after woman's outburst on Spirit flight

Jeff Ehling Image
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
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This may be the most intense video you will see all day.

HOUSTON, Texas -- Passengers on a Spirit Airlines flight are describing what they saw when a woman had a mid-flight meltdown on the way from Houston to Minneapolis.

Eyewitness video taken by passenger Chianti Washington shows a woman pacing frantically up the aisle of the Minneapolis-bound plane, screaming hysterically.

This happened after the flight made an emergency landing in Rochester, Minnesota, for a different passenger who needed medical attention.

The woman who appeared to have a breakdown demanded to get off the flight, walking up and down the aisle three separate times, passengers say.

During the intense one-minute, 20-second video, the woman curses, makes threats involving her brothers, and acts erratically before a plane full of stunned passengers.

"Get me the f*** off this (long string of expletives) plane!" the woman screams. "You want to be (expletive) and b**chy to me? You'll see me f***ing pissed."

Passenger Frances Andraya said the woman wanted to help with the medical emergency, saying she was a nurse. However, the crew told her they already had three people helping plus first responders and asked her to stay seated.

"People were pretty scared, you know. There were several kids in the back of the plane. I don't know about the front of the plane, but I know everyone in the back of the plane was pretty upset," Andraya said.

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At one point, when a male passenger stands up to block the woman from getting to the front of the plane, she shakes her fist at the man before lashing out again.

"Do you know who my brothers are? They are f***ing Marine snipers. Do you want to f*** with a f***ing Marine?" she screams, before pushing her way toward the cockpit.

Before the woman was escorted off the plane, a stranger tried to console her, even letting her cry on his lap in an effort to let the woman regain her composure.

Passengers say the woman claimed to be a military veteran and passengers think she was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"We realized that it was like a PTSD episode because of all the things she was saying. 'You got to get me off this plane, I am ex-military, you got to contact my family', so after a while it was like she is not just being a rude passenger, she has some sort of imbalance or stress disorder," Andraya explained.

Spirit Airlines released the following statement about the incident:

Yesterday morning, a flight from Houston to Minneapolis had to land in Rochester, Minnesota due to a guest experiencing a medical emergency. On the ground in Rochester, another passenger became erratic and irate and was removed from the aircraft with the assistance of law enforcement. We apologize to our guests who had to witness this and for the inconvenience of the delay. Safety is our top priority at Spirit Airlines.

After two hours on the ground, the flight resumed to Minneapolis. Passengers we spoke to praised the flight crew for keeping the situation from escalating.