Home News Southwest passenger says flight attendant who lost teeth provoked altercation

Southwest passenger says flight attendant who lost teeth provoked altercation

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The Southwest Airlines flight attendant who got two of her teeth knocked out by a passenger was “very unprofessional” and provoked the wild altercation, another flier said.

The shocking incident unfolded just after a flight from Sacramento landed in San Diego on Sunday.

It began when the unnamed flight attendant confronted passenger Vyvianna Quinonez, 28, and her other family members about putting their face masks back on, news station Fox40 reported.

“It was so unnecessary. In the first altercation, she had said that she was going to call the captain,” said passenger Michelle Manner, who was sitting two rows in front of them.

“And she should’ve just stayed there in her back cubby, but she came back out screaming at them again.” 

The altercation then escalated from there.

“Vyvianna had said to her three times, that we could hear, ‘Get off of me. Quit touching me. Get your hands off of me,’” Manner told the news station.

Manner recorded the rest of the encounter in which Quinonez punched the flight attendant before another passenger intervened.

“The flight attendant continued to yell. And I mean she was yelling. We got to the point to, where we’re like, should we start videoing this?” Manner said.

Passenger Michelle Manner says that the injured Southwest flight attendant acted "very unprofessional" toward  Vyvianna Quinonez (left).
Passenger Michelle Manner says the injured Southwest flight attendant acted very unprofessionally toward Vyvianna Quinonez (left).
Michelle Manner
Michelle Manner's video shows passenger Vyvianna Quinonez punch a Southwest flight attendant.
Michelle Manner’s video shows passenger Vyvianna Quinonez punch a Southwest flight attendant.
Michelle Manner

“She was very unprofessional. Very rude, about the way she handled anything,” she added of the flight attendant.

A Southwest spokesman, however, said the incident occurred when the passenger “repeatedly ignored standard inflight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing.”

Quinonez was arrested on suspicion of battery causing serious injury. She was released from jail on $35,000 bond, CBS8 reported.

Reached for comment, she said she acted in self-defense and would not speak further about the incident without an attorney present, the outlet reported.

The flight attendant, who has not been identified, was treated at a hospital and released.

Lyn Montgomery, president of the Southwest flight attendants union, said the employee is recovering.

“She is recovering, I’m giving her privacy to recover and get over the shock of this to occur,” Montgomery told CBS8.

Passenger Vyvianna Quinonez Quinonez was arrested on suspicion of battery causing serious injury.
Passenger Vyvianna Quinonez was arrested on suspicion of battery causing serious injury.
Michelle Manner

In her letter to CEO Gary Kelly on Sunday, Montgomery said the incident was one of hundreds in a trend of unruly passengers.

“The unprecedented number of incidents has reached an intolerable level, with passenger non-compliance events also becoming more aggressive in nature,” the union boss wrote.

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