Southwest Airlines Worker Hospitalized After Passenger Punches Her in Head, Texas Authorities Say

By Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
November 14, 2021 Updated: November 15, 2021

By Simone Jasper
From The Charlotte Observer

A Southwest Airlines worker was hospitalized after a passenger punched her, Texas officials said.

Arielle Jean Jackson, 32, had boarded a plane at Dallas Love Field when police said she got into an argument with an operations agent on Saturday, Nov. 13.

After Jackson was told to get off the plane, she started arguing with another worker and hit her with “a closed fist (on) the head,” according to the Dallas Police Department. The worker was also an operations agent, someone who helps manage the plane’s weight and oversees the boarding process, according to the airline’s website.

Police in a news release didn’t list an attorney for Jackson, who is accused of assaulting the worker before the flight took off for LaGuardia Airport in New York. She was arrested on an aggravated assault charge and taken to the Dallas County Jail, records show.

Southwest Airlines said a worker went to the hospital with “multiple injuries” and was in “stable condition” after a Nov. 13 incident.

“Southwest Airlines maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of harassment or assault and fully support our employee as we cooperate with local authorities regarding this unacceptable incident,” the airline said in an emailed statement.

As of Nov. 9, the Federal Aviation Administration said it has received more than 5,100 reports of “unruly” travelers this year. The agency has reported a “disturbing increase in incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior.”

Though federal officials have announced a “Zero Tolerance campaign” for those behaviors, officials in September said the rate was still high, McClatchy News reported.

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