First class passengers convicted for ‘unruly’ AA attack.
A New York woman has been sentenced to four months in prison and three years of supervised release for spitting on another passenger and interfering with crew members onboard an American Airlines flight last year.
Kelly Pichardo, 32, from the Bronx in New York City, was travelling with her friend and co-defendant Leeza Rodriguez, when they “engaged in unruly and intimidating behavior while traveling first class.”
The pair were flying from Dallas to Los Angeles when they each assaulted a passenger using racial slurs, according to authorities.
Pichardo is then alleged to have spat at a man when he tried to record the altercation.
The plane made an emergency landing in Phoenix where the duo were arrested.
In addition to the prison sentence, Pichardo has also been ordered to pay American Airlines $9,123, according to the Arizona US Attorney’s Office.
Rodriguez is set to be sentenced on November 7.
United States Attorney Gary Restaino said that “there is a line between boorish behavior on an airplane and criminal activity, and the defendant clearly crossed it”.
Following the altercation last year, the airline said in a statement that “while en route from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Los Angeles (LAX), American Airlines flight 776 diverted to Phoenix (PHX) as a result of an in-flight customer altercation.
“Upon arrival, the flight was met by local law enforcement who removed and arrested two individuals for verbally and physically assaulting other customers and flight crew members.
“Their behavior was disturbing and unacceptable, and they have been placed on the internal refuse list pending further investigation,” the airline added.
Both women have been banned from future flights with American Airlines.