The last place people should engage in fisticuffs is on a plane mid-fight.
But a group of women on a Spirit Airlines flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles were so ticked off and ready to brawl that they couldn’t wait for a more appropriate battleground.
Instead, they started beating each other up right there in the aisle, and the entire brawl was captured on cell phone video, NBC News reported.
No one was seriously hurt or arrested, although a witness who helped break up the fight told the Today show that a flight attendant was struck at one point.
Media reports differ on when the brawl took place on the five-hour Spirit Airlines flight. Some accounts claim the fists started to fly before landing, while others said it began after. Either way, the plane was still full of stunned passengers when the first punch struck.
The brawl was instigated by loud music.
According to reports from CBS News, the Los Angeles Times, and NBC and CBS Los Angeles, it began with two female passengers who “appeared to be intoxicated. The pair “were playing loud music on a boom box speaker” on the flight, and it was apparently too loud for the other passengers.
Several people asked the women to turn down the volume, but the drunk pair refused. And they not only refused, they turned the volume up even higher and then thrust the speakers into the air in a move that Spirit Airlines spokesman Paul Berry described as goading.
“Then to provoke the other customer they were holding up their boom box in the air, waving it around,” Berry said.
In response to the request to turn down the volume, Berry said the women then asked, “What are you going to do?”
Well, apparently, what they were “going to do” was lunge across the aisle and solve the problem with some good-old fashioned violence. A group of passengers — all of them women — approached the two music-lovers, and the brawl erupted.
Of course, people started pulling out their cell phones to capture the sparring match on the Spirit Airlines flight. In the footage of the brawl, the women can be seen pulling hair and one women standing in the aisle and delivering fierce, multiple blows at someone sitting in her seat.
“They were throwing serious punches. The ladies — they were serious,” said witness Emerson Silva.
Five female Spirit Airlines passengers were ultimately involved in the brawl, which was quickly broken up by flight attendants and passengers. One witness said people were yelling at the group to stop fighting, but for a while, no one was willing to intervene. Eventually, he and a friend stepped in, concerned that someone would end up getting seriously hurt.
Other passengers, like Shamaila Taj, were shocked that a brawl would break out in the middle of the Spirit Airlines plane.
“I’d be really afraid. A plane is probably the last place you’d want to do something like that… I would freak out more so than anything else. I would be scared out of my mind because you’re stuck on a plane. There’s nowhere else you can go.”
The Los Angeles Police Department and FBI responded to the brawl after the Spirit Airlines plane landed at LAX; another cell phone video shows FBI agents boarding. Their involvement is standard when there are incidents at airports.
“My understanding is that it was primarily a verbal altercation in which multiple parties engaged,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
All five fighters were involved in what was deemed a “mutual combat” situation and removed from the plane. They were interviewed for an hour and then released without charges.
[Image via Syda Productions/Shutterstock]