A woman on a Spirit Airlines flight in the US shocked her fellow passengers by lighting a cigarette while the plane was taxying last week.
TikTok user Alexa Majdalawi, who said she was sitting right behind the woman, posted a video of the woman being removed from the plane by police.
Majdalawi’s footage shows officers approach the woman, who had fallen asleep.
Other passengers heckled the woman as the officers woke her up and began trying to find her carry-on luggage.
“Come get her, please, bro, she’s holding us up,” one passenger said.
“She ain’t got no bag, she’s f****ing with y’all. Her bag’s under the plane.”
@heyalexa_nahDefinitely never flying spirit again.♬ original sound – Alexa Majdalawi
In a follow-up video, Majdalawi said the woman began smoking the cigarette as the plane made its way to the gate at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
“She just started smoking and blowing it behind her,” she said.
“I was like ‘is this real life?’.”
Majdalawi said the flight attendants didn’t seem to notice, so she asked the woman to put the cigarette out.
“She said, ‘It’s been a really long day’,” Majdalawi said.
“I have asthma. It’s not really fun to pull our your inhaler in the middle of a flight with a mask on.”
She asked a flight attendant if she could move to the back of the plane to avoid the smell, which is why the video is filmed from a few rows back instead of directly behind the woman.
When the flight attendant asked the woman if she had smoked a cigarette, the woman denied it, prompting the passengers around her to chime in and confirm that she was in fact smoking, Majdalawi said.
“She was like, ‘You’re going to jail’,” Majdalawi added.
“I’m never flying Spirit again.”
@beatrixtrifonovaSpirit flights be like… ##flight ##spirit♬ original sound – Beatrix Trifonova
The incident took place on a flight from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale.
Travel Weekly has reached out to Spirit Airlines for comment, but has not yet received a response.
However, a spokesperson for the airline told Fox News that flight attendants were made aware of the situation and acted appropriately.
“Flight attendants noticed the odour and the other guests were quick to point out who was responsible and hand over what remained of the extinguished cigarette,” the spokesperson said.
“Our crew summoned law enforcement officers to have them waiting at the gate to remove the passenger.”
This is the second time this month Travel Weekly has recently reported on a passenger smoking while on a commercial flight, with footage of a Russian travel agent smoking on an Aeroflot flight emerging earlier this month.
It also comes as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed a total of US$1 million ($1.4 million) in fines had been handed out to unruly passengers in 2021 alone.
Since the beginning of this year, the FAA has clocked 3,889 reports of disruptive passengers, with a majority (2,867) handed out to passengers who refused to comply with the country’s mask mandate.
The number of unruly passenger reports in the US has skyrocketed since the beginning of the global pandemic, reaching almost 20 times the number recorded in 2019 (183) from August 2020 to August 2021.
Featured image source: TikTok/heyalexa_nah