Frontier Airlines now says it is “supporting” its crew who restrained an unruly passenger with duct tape after he allegedly groped two female flight attendants’ chests and punched one male flight attendant in the face.
“Frontier Airlines maintains the utmost value, respect, concern and support for all of our flight attendants, including those who were assaulted on this flight,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.
“We are supporting the needs of these team members and are working with law enforcement to fully support the prosecution of the passenger involved,” the company added. “The inflight crew members’ current paid leave status is in line with an event of this nature pending an investigation.”
The statement comes after the company faced backlash for initially saying the crew would be “relieved of flying pending completion of investigation of the events.”
“Management suspended the crew as a knee-jerk reaction to a short video clip that did not show the full incident. Management should be supporting the crew at this time not suspending them. We will be fighting this with every contractual and legal tool available, but we would hope there will be no need for that as management comes to their senses and supports the people on the frontline charged with keeping all passengers safe,” Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said in a statement Tuesday.
The incident occurred July 31 during a flight from Philadelphia to Miami.
Maxwell Berry drank two alcoholic drinks before assaulting the flight attendants and yelling on the airplane, the police report states.
Berry was then duct-taped to a seat on the plane and arrested when the flight landed. He was charged with three counts of battery.