Flight diverted to Oklahoma City after passenger assaults flight attendant, air marshal

A Delta flight that took off from Washington, D.C., had to be redirected to Oklahoma City last night after a passenger allegedly assaulted a flight attendant and an air marshal.

Delta flight 342, en route to Los Angeles, had to land in Oklahoma at Will Rogers World Airport. It landed around 7:40 p.m. local time, and police took the suspect into custody, according to ABC.

It is unclear what prompted the incident. 

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A video, reportedly of the incident, shows the man engaging with another individual on the flight with his mask on his chin. The video also showed him being restrained and yelling while sitting down. It then shows him being led away by the police. 

In a statement to The Hill, Delta said it "applauds the quick action and professionalism of the crew and Federal Air Marshals on Delta flight 342 from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, which diverted to Oklahoma City after a customer became unruly and was removed from the flight by local law enforcement. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience."

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in November announced more than $225,000 in fines for 10 airline passengers accused of assault since the start of the year. The FAA has seen more than 4,600 unruly passenger complaints in 2021, with more than 3,300 related to mask-wearing on flights. 

Airline worker advocates have been calling for the creation of government and private no-fly lists for unruly passengers amid an increase in violence against flight crew and staff.

“If there is not a no-fly list ... people are going to continue to assault plane crews and gate agents,” Transport Workers Union of America President John Samuelsen said last month.