FAA sues woman who had to be duct taped to seat due to misconduct on flight from DFW

A woman — who had to be duct taped to her seat because she had allegedly been assaulting flight attendants on a flight from the Dallas Fort Worth Airport — is being sued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The lawsuit was filed on June 3 in a San Antonio district court.

On July 7, 2021, the woman was a first-class passenger on an American Airlines flight departing from the Dallas Fort Worth airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Over an hour into the flight, the defendant became “increasingly agitated” and “wanted out” of the plane, the suit reads. She had ordered an alcoholic drink during the flight, according to the suit.

The woman left her seat and began moving and running toward the end of the aircraft, before getting down on her knees in the aisle, the suit says. She remained in the aisle shortly and spoke “incoherently” to passengers before she crawled back to the main cabin.

When a flight attendant responded, the woman became verbally aggressive and told the flight attendant she would hurt him if he did not get out of her way, the suit alleges. She pushed the attendant to the side and moved to the front of the aircraft.

She lunged toward and attempted to grab the handle to the front cabin door while the aircraft was in flight, all while yelling and screaming profanities, according to the suit. Two flight attendants and a passenger had to restrain her. During the struggle, the woman hit a flight attendant in the head multiple times, the suit says.

The flight attendants and passenger restrained the woman to her seat using tape and flex cuffs. After being seated, the woman kicked, spit, and attempted to bite and head-butt a flight attendant and passengers, the suit alleges. She was further restrained and tape was placed along her mouth, but this did not stop her from screaming and cursing throughout the flight, the suit states.

The captain decided to continue to their destination with law enforcement waiting for the woman upon landing.

While arriving to the destination airport, the woman was able to work her feet free and was violently kicking, according to the suit, requiring more restraint and another intervention from flight attendants.

She broke the seat in front of her and had to be sedated to be removed from the plane, according to the suit.

The woman’s conduct posed a threat to the safety of the aircraft and the people on the flight, the suit alleges.

She faces penalties of up to $81,950 for violations, including making threats, hitting, and spitting and attempting to assault the flight crew and passengers.

She is also liable to be penalized $27,950 for attempting to open the cabin door and $9,000 for interfering with the crew members’ duties.