VIDEO: Spirit Airlines agent suspended over fight with customer
IRVING, Texas (WFAA) - A Spirit Airlines agent has been suspended after cell phone video captured a dispute between the agent and a customer, who allegedly called him racial and homophobic slurs.
Thomas Shannon, a professional cinematographer, was at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Thursday waiting to fly to Tanzania, where he is set to work on a documentary. He was at Panda Express when he heard yelling.
“I just dropped my food on the counter, run over as fast as I can, just to see what’s going on,” Shannon said.
Using his cell phone, Shannon captured video of an altercation between a male Spirit Airlines agent and a female customer. He later uploaded the video to Instagram.
The video shows the two yelling at each other before the woman pushes the agent. As another man tries to intervene, the argument escalates, with the woman hitting the agent, who then runs after her and hits her back. Throughout the video, the woman aims racial and homophobic slurs at the agent, who is Black.
“I think we need to have the dialogue of physical violence, safety at the airport, why airports are so dangerous,” Shannon said.
Since the video was uploaded, Spirit Airlines says the agent, who was employed through a local partner company, has been suspended.
As for Shannon, he says his video sparked a lot of discussion online.
“I would just encourage everybody to really have an honest conversation about this video and ask themselves what they would do, what they should do,” he said.
Spirit Airlines says it is aware of the incident and is cooperating with local law enforcement. There is no word yet if any charges will be filed.
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