Amanda Renee Henry Drunk Spirit passenger makes lewd advances towards passengers, charged with federal offences, faces 20 years jail.
A drunk Spirit Airlines passenger who was zip-tied by fellow passengers after allegedly attacking two flight attendants and making lewd sexual advances towards passengers has been charged by federal prosecutors.
Federal prosecutors in Tennessee announced that Amanda Renee Henry, 43, turned herself in to FBI agents in Nashville on Tuesday after an alcohol-fueled incident on a Spirit Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Nashville last month.
On the November 29 flight, Henry ‘acted flirtatious’ and ‘made lewd sexual advances’ toward male passengers, placing her hands on two of them, a criminal complaint said.
The passengers asked to be moved away from Henry who ‘became disruptive and appeared to be intoxicated.’ Crew members decided to move Henry instead because she was seated at an emergency exit, court documents said.
But when a crew member asked the seemingly inebriated woman to move, she refused, grabbed her carry-on bag and ran toward the front of the plane screaming, ‘I’m getting off this plane’ while the flight was still midair.
‘I’m getting off this plane’
Henry kicked and hit a flight attendant who blocked the main cabin door, as well as another flight attendant who tried to restrain her, the criminal complaint stated.
A passenger was able to restrain Henry’s feet with zip ties before the plane landed at Nashville International Airport, where she resisted getting into a police vehicle, officials said.
The affidavit said she smelled of alcohol, slurred her words and had bloodshot eyes. She told officers she drank ‘a lot’, it added.
After being arrested, she yelled at them several times, using expletives. She said, ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’ and ‘shoot me,’ documents show.
As she was being put into the police cruiser, she reportedly stiffened her legs to prevent officers from closing the door.
She was charged with public intoxication, court records show. After spending the night in jail, Henry was released and the case was dismissed.
After further investigation by the FBI, the 43-year-old was charged with interfering with flight crew members and attendants, which carries an up to 20-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. Henry is expected to have her initial appearance on Tuesday in the Middle District of Tennessee the Mercury News reported.
‘Henry’s actions while seated in the exit row required Flight Attendants 1 and 2 to forego their other duties to relocate Henry and other passengers for aircraft safety,’ the complaint said. ‘Flight Attendants 1 and 2 were also forced to neglect their normal duties as they restrained Henry as she ran through the aircraft, was returned to her new seat, and withstood her physical assaults while they tried to secure her in her new seat.’
Spirit Airlines spokesperson Nicole Aguiar said Henry was banned from the airline. ‘We do not tolerate aggressive behavior of any kind, and this passenger is no longer welcome on any of our flights.’
‘Thank you to our guests who assisted our crew and local law enforcement for their assistance,’ she added. ‘We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure this individual is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.’
Violent incidents on airplanes have soared since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, largely due to passenger frustrations at measures in place to stem the spread.
The incident follows a recent release from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) detailing a record number of air rage attacks – with 5,300 reported in 2021, compared to only several hundred in previous years, according to Morning Consult.