Woman detained after mask spat on Delta flight

December 27, 2021
Delta Air Lines seatback screens.


An “unruly” passenger was taken into FBI custody after an apparent argument over face masks turned ugly on a Delta flight.

The incident happened on Flight 2790 from Tampa, Florida, to Atlanta on Dec. 23.

“Situations like these are rare for the vast majority of our customers and Delta has zero tolerance for unruly behavior at our airports and aboard our aircraft,” the airline said in a statement.

Video posted on Twitter by ATL Uncensored shows a woman standing over a fellow passenger, telling him to mask up while her own mask is pulled down below her chin.

“Sit down, Karen” the man retorts amid a slew of profanities, shouts and insults from both parties. He later holds up a water bottle, saying he is “eating and drinking,” when a flight attendant trying to defuse the situation tells the woman to put on her own mask.

The federal mask mandate requires passengers to wear face masks on airplanes when they are not eating or drinking.

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The woman eventually says she’ll put on her mask when the man puts on his.

The situation escalates after the man calls the woman a slur. She slaps him in the face. When he says it again, she appears to spit on him, before eventually being taken away.

“This disturbance lead to the injury of fellow passengers and Delta employees,” according to Atlanta Police who took the woman into custody once the plane landed and handed her over to the FBI, which is handling the case.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported 5,114 unruly passenger incidents, as of last month, 73% of which were mask-related. More than 100 reports involved physical assaults.


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