Fight breaks out on Utah flight after passenger refuses to wear mask
Tania Dean, KSL
Provo, UTAH (KSL) — An argument over face masks resulted in a fight onboard an Allegiant flight bound for Provo, and a woman caught the exchange on camera.
Rylie Lansford was sitting right by the two men on Saturday’s flight, but as soon as one of them threw the first punch, she got out of the way and started recording.
“It was absolutely insane to me because it’s all about a mask, and it didn’t need to get that way,” said Lansford.
When Rylie boarded a plane in Mesa, Arizona, Saturday that was headed to Provo, she expected a pretty typical flight — a typical flight that included wearing a mask.
What she didn’t expect was for a fight to break out.
The fight on the Allegiant flight started after a passenger sitting in the row behind her argued with a flight attendant over wearing a face mask.
He was wearing a face shield, but according to Allegiant’s policy, “face shields must be worn in addition to a face covering, but not as an alternative.”
“They made it clear. Yes, 100%,” said Rylie.
Rylie said another passenger sitting next to her turned around and started heckling the man.
“At first, I thought it was banter between friends cause it was kind of weird, but then you quickly learned that the words that they were saying to each other were not friendly,” she said.
Eventually, the flight attendant attempted to escort the passenger who wouldn’t wear a mask off the plane. But the guy next to Rylie continued to egg him on.
“Then I just hear and see one swing of an arm, and I just bolt to the front of the plane with the flight attendants,” said Lansford.
She said the passenger who refused to wear a mask was kind of choking the other man, or had a hold of his neck, and then started pulling the man’s hair and hitting him in the back.
“I was right next to them. I didn’t want to get in the middle of that.”
The fight was broken up after about 30 seconds.
Rylie said she hopes her next flight won’t be quite as eventful.
“If you’re buying a plane ticket, you must follow the rules or you gotta drive somewhere,” she said.
Flight attendants did escort the first passenger off the plane while they were still at the Phoenix-Mesa airport. The other passenger was allowed to stay.
KSL reached out to Allegiant for comment, but didn’t hear back.
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