Folks aboard a Brussels Airlines flight realized they were flying the not-so-friendly skies last week after an enraged passenger slapped a female flight crew member who first attacked him in a chaotic midair melee.
Video of the incident, shared to Facebook, shows a Black man shouting down a male flight attendant who was trying to get him to remain seated.
“You don’t put your hands on me!” the man yells as the steward urges him to “calm down.” “You don’t put your godt– I will beat the sh-t out you. I will beat the sh-t out you!”
“Where are the police? Where are the damn police?” a woman, presumably his wife, shouts from off camera. She’s later heard accusing the male crew member of hitting her man first, adding, “all you had to do was help.”
Maryland woman Carmen Moore detailed the incident in a Facebook post dated March 15. It’s unclear whether Moore was also on the flight at the time, or if she was involved.
According to Moore, the scuffle was sparked after the flight crew’s refusal to assist the man’s mother-in-law, who complained she was being elbowed by the men seated on either side of her.
“The man complained to the [cabin] supervisor and was told they didn’t have to help him,” she wrote. “The female Supervisor proceeded to defend the men who were elbowing the woman when the man said something to the supervisor. She slapped him.”
Rather than easing tensions, the cabin supervisor is seen reprimanding the Black man and wagging her finger in his face: “Listen, if you don’t finish, you will get in trouble. You better respect … I’m a female and I’m the boss.”
The two continue going back and forth, the woman at times wiping droplets of spittle from her face as the man proceeds to berate her.
“The f–k you know?” he shouts before calling her a “b-tch.” That’s when she smacks him — and he delivers a blow right back, sending folks screaming.
In the clip, several male passengers are seen rushing to the lady’s defense. Moore claims the man suffered broken ribs after essentially being jumped on the plane, and that he was subsequently dragged “down the plane’s steel stairs” by police.
It’s unclear if any charges have been filed in the matter.
Brussels Airlines confirmed the incident in a statement provided to Atlanta Black Star.
“We can confirm that on Brussels Airlines flight SN290 of 11 March from Accra (Ghana) to Brussels, a dispute took place between two passengers. Our cabin crew intervened to calm down the situation. After the unfortunate dispute involving several passengers, the passenger calmed down and apologized for his behavior. We have spoken to the cabin crew as to see how we can prevent situations like these to escalate in the future.”
The airline said it has seen an uptick in instances of “unruly passengers on board,” and has since taken steps to train its crews to properly handle such difficult situations.