• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023


All content has been processed with publicly available content spinners. Not for human consumption.

‘Homophobic’ first-class passenger accused of assaulting Delta flight attendant

A passenger was arrested after allegedly hurling homophobic slurs at a Delta Air Lines flight attendant and assaulting the man on a flight from Atlanta to Phoenix.

A criminal complaint alleges that Christopher Alexander Morgan began causing disruption on Friday’s flight prior to takeoff. Morgan, who was seated in first-class, refused to wear a seat belt and would not comply with requests from crew members to put his seat in the upright position, the complaint states.

One flight attendant had to force Morgan’s seat up so the flight could take off, according to the complaint.

During the flight, Morgan was served one alcoholic beverage. When he asked for another, a second flight attendant refused and instead offered him a non-alcoholic drink, the complaint says. Morgan became angry and tossed his ice at the flight attendant while calling the man “queer” and a homophobic slur, according to the document.

A passenger tried to intervene but it did not calm Morgan down, the complaint says. The flight attendant used a telephone near the cockpit to inform the pilot of Morgan’s behavior. While he was on the phone, Morgan allegedly got out of his seat, grabbed the telephone and hit him in the chest with it, the flight attendant told federal investigators. 

The passenger also told investigators that he saw Morgan throw the telephone at the flight attendant.

The complaint alleges that Morgan told the FBI that “the flight attendant was homosexual and that this made him uncomfortable. When the flight attendant refused to serve Morgan another drink, he became angry.”

“Morgan said that he is homophobic and that it is possible he could have been intimidating the flight attendants,” it reads. “He said that his homophobia may have caused his temper towards the flight attendant to escalate.”

Morgan allegedly admitted to using derogatory language during his altercation with the flight attendant but denied assaulting him, according to the complaint.

Delta Air Lines said in a statement Wednesday that law enforcement was waiting at the airport when the plane landed in Phoenix.

“Delta has zero tolerance for unruly behavior and discrimination at our airports and aboard our aircraft and takes all reports of such behavior seriously, especially when directed at our employees. Nothing is more important than the safety of our people and our customers,” a spokesman said.

Federal agencies have been cracking down on unruly airline passengers. The Federal Aviation Administration said last week that it was permanently implementing its zero tolerance policy on disruptive passengers, which issues fines instead of warning letters or counseling. 

Since Jan. 1, the agency has received 1,272 reports of unruly passengers, the FAA tweeted Wednesday. There have also been more than 200 “FAA enforcement cases initiated.”

As of Feb. 16, the FAA referred 80 cases to the FBI for criminal review. It is also working with the Transportation Security Administration to revoke TSA PreCheck, an expedited security screening program, from passengers who are fined by the FAA.

“Behaving dangerously on a plane will cost you; that’s a promise,” acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement. “Unsafe behavior simply does not fly and keeping our Zero Tolerance policy will help us continue making progress to prevent and punish this behavior.”