OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Archive for July, 2021

Exclusive Footage: Airline Tries to Ban Passengers from Filming During Arrest Incident

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 7, 2021

American Airlines

Aboard American Airlines Flight 2289 earlier today (July 7) from Los Angeles to Miami, passengers were ordered to put their hands on their heads for 45-60 minutes before landing at 4:42 PM EDT. Passengers were repeatedly ordered by the flight crew to not film the incident. When the plane landed, law enforcement boarded the aircraft with assault rifles while yelling at all the passengers, with some of the weapons pointed directly at some of the passengers. One person was arrested. Passengers were again prevented from filming.

After the passengers de-planed, there was a scuffle, as frustrated passengers did not know what had happened, and American Airlines would not give out any information. The passengers had not been allowed to take anything with them off the plane, including carry-on luggage, purses, etc. Passengers were forced to stay in the airport for approximately 4 hours without clear instructions nor clear information.

See the bottom of this post for exclusive (though brief) video clips from Flight 2289 published first here at OC Political.

The Washington Post wrote in 2018 about efforts by airlines to ban passenger filming about a year after the infamous video of Dr. David Dao being dragged off of United Express Flight 3411:

Dao, you’ll recall, is the United Airlines passenger forcibly removed from a flight from Chicago to Louisville last spring. His ejection, captured on video and widely shared online, led to a quick out-of-court settlement and a series of minor but necessary reforms. A string of copycat videos followed, which embarrassed other air carriers.

There’s no federal law that prohibits in-flight photography. Instead, crew members invoke a regulation, 49 U.S.C. 46504, that forbids passengers from interfering “with the performance of the duties of the member or attendant or lessening the ability of the crew member to perform those duties.” That’s been broadly interpreted to mean: Obey your flight attendants. And that includes, but is not limited to, their orders to stop taking their picture or to delete the images.

Imagine a world where passengers had been reluctant to shoot footage of Dao, or to shoot any of last year’s other viral videos. There would have been no congressional hearings, no policy changes, however small, and United probably wouldn’t have settled with Dao.

And that’s why the cellphone is your last, best weapon against bad airline service. Everything else has been taken from passengers. But we still have our phones. We should be ready to use them.

A short clip aboard American Airlines Flight 2289 with all the passengers forced to place their hands on their heads, as the flight landed in Miami. This video had to be taken surreptitiously due to the flight crew’s orders forbidding the passengers from filming what was happening on the flight.
A video of the tense situation in the terminal after the passengers de-planed and remained stuck in the terminal.
NOTE: This video clips begins with some adult language.

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