Brawl erupts between Spirit Airlines agents and passengers over denied luggage
A fight erupted near the jet bridge at the Philadelphia International Airport between a mother and daughter and Spirit Airlines staff after they were told their carry-on luggage was too large to bring on the plane.
Parts of the encounter were captured on video.
The footage begins with a pair of travelers, a mother and daughter, swiping at Spirit Airlines gate agents near the entrance to the terminal’s jet bridge, which connects the airport to the waiting airplanes.
The pair was leaving Philadelphia for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when the scuffle broke out.
The younger traveler grabbed the dreadlocks of one of the Spirit Airlines staffers, prompting another staff to slap her on the back of the head yell for her to "get off."
She eventually let go, after which the Spirit Airlines staffer punched her several times in the face, even as the girl was being restrained by others.
The woman’s mother, who somehow lost her shirt and shoes in the fight, continued to battle with the gate staff. A bystander could be heard in the background of the video asking "where the f*** is security?"
A little boy — who may be a part of the same family fighting with airline employees — then began hitting a Spirit Airlines employee before running off in tears and collapsing to the floor.
The fight appeared to be calming before the mother rushed to the gate kiosk and grabbed a keyboard. She was retrained and punched by another staffer.
By the end of the fight the only injury sustained was a cut near the eye of a 24-year-old woman involved in the fight, according to the Philadelphia Police Department.
Police said they’ve spoken to all involved but have not made any arrests resulting from the fight.
A passenger who witnessed the fight told The Daily Mail they were shocked at "how violent" the fight got and "how long it went on for."
The passenger said they were unsure who escalated the fight, but turned after hearing screams and saw the fight already had started.
Mother and Daughter Engage in Wild Airport Brawl with Spirit Airlines Agents Over Oversized Carry-On Fees pic.twitter.com/OXJRaiAaor
— Frisch Report (@FrischReport) February 5, 2023
The scuffle resulted in the flight being delayed for an hour but ultimately continued to Florida without further incident.
The Philadelphia police described its understanding of the event in a statement.
"On Monday, 30 January, 2023, at approximately 7:29 P.M. police received information that several passengers were pulling apart a 24-year-old female complainant and a 17-year-old female along with her 39-year-old mother during an argument over additional baggage fees," a statement said. "At this time, the 17 year old female attempted to access Jetway and was halted by the 24-year-old complainant when she was punched/hair pulled by the 17-year-old female being assisted by her 39-year-old mother."
The statement goes on to say that a "24-year-old female sustained a minor eyelid laceration" and that "all participants were advised by police in reference to private criminal complaint documentation."