What should have been a routine processing for passengers at Detroit Metro Airport on Sunday led to what Spirit Airlines describes as an assault on its workers at the gate, two arrests and two employees injured.
The incident happened when three passengers had been trying to board Flight 646 to Atlanta without authorization, Spirit representatives said in a statement.
“The agents asked the group to verify that their carry-on bags were sized appropriately for the aircraft prior to boarding, at which time the passengers became combative,” according to the release.
“The agents attempted to calmly defuse the situation but were physically assaulted by these passengers as they closed a door to stop them from boarding the aircraft.”
A cellphone video posted by WDIV-TV (Channel 4) showed a man shoving an agent to the airport floor and tussling with him as several others rush over as arms flail, bodies tackled and tossed.
Two agents were injured, and one was transported to the hospital, the airline said.
Meanwhile, the Wayne County Airport Authority Police Department arrested two people, Detroit Metro Airport spokeswoman Erica Donerson said. A third person was cited and released.
The people arrested have not yet been arraigned, Donerson said. Other details were not immediately available.
The passengers are banned from any future Spirit flights, the airline said Monday.
“All of us at Spirit wish the agents a speedy recovery and thank them for their courage and professionalism,” Spirit officials said. “We also thank law enforcement for responding quickly and arresting those involved in the attack. This violent behavior is completely unacceptable and has absolutely no place in airports or any other place of business.”