RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A brawl on board an American Airlines flight Monday bound for Charlotte was caught on camera.
The airline said the fight started when a passenger refused to comply with the mandatory face-covering policy.
The passenger who took the video said they were getting ready to take off from Las Vegas when the fight started. His wife tweeted the video saying “Nothing like a morning Fight Club as tempers flared” and “so much for social distancing.”
In a statement to, CBS 17, American Airlines said “in accordance with our policy, the customer was subsequently asked to leave the aircraft and became disruptive, resulting in an altercation with other passengers,” and that law enforcement was requested.
The video comes as many airlines are strengthening face mask policies on board due to COVID19. Some like United, American and Delta have banned face masks with valves or vents.
“Make sure that you’re complying with your particular airlines requirements before you travel because they really are enforcing that now. Even to the point where they are telling people that can’t fly during the pandemic if they don’t have the right kind of mask or if they refuse to wear one,” said RDU Airport Communications Director Stephanie Hawco.
Hawco said some airlines are adding measures to ensure passenger safety, like temperature checks and requiring passengers to fill out a health acknowledgment before boarding.
Since the pandemic, RDU has increase cleaning and disinfecting in the airport and put signage in place to remind travelers to social distance.
Hawco said the airport is also giving away simple cloth face masks for passengers who don’t have a mask, or have one that doesn’t comply with their airlines policies.
The video of the fight on American Airlines flight 1665 shows a full plane.
The airline began booking flights to capacity again beginning July 1.
Other airlines, such as JetBlue, Southwest and Delta continue to limit the number of passengers on board.
“Some airlines are blocking middle seats, some are blocking seats around you immediately when you book a flight. It really depends on the airlines that you’re traveling,” said Hawco.
RDU says passenger traffic remains low as the COVID19 crisis continues.
Airport official say July is traditionally RDU’s busiest month of the year, bu this year traffic was down 77.1 percent compared to July 2019.
However, there was a 46.7 percent increase in passenger traffic compared to June 2020.
RDU said the week ending August 10 was RDU’s busiest week since passenger traffic hit its lowest point in mid-April.
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