Passenger banned from United Airlines after allegedly assaulting crew member, airline says


(SAN FRANCISCO) — A man was arrested and charged with battery following an alleged incident on a United Airlines flight Sunday, law enforcement officials told ABC News Tuesday.

San Francisco Police said 47-year-old Cody Benjamin Lovins of Montgomery, Texas, was arrested following an alleged “physical altercation” on a plane.

United Airlines said in a statement that a passenger became “disruptive” during boarding on the Houston bound flight. The airline said the passenger allegedly assaulted a crew member.

Naya Jimenez, another passenger on the flight, told ABC affiliate KTRK-TV that the traveler became disruptive after a crew member told him he and his wife were in the wrong seats.

“They had to bring in a gate attendant to try to talk to both of them,” Jimenez said in an interview with KTRK.

Police said Lovins was subsequently “cited and released for battery.”

Video posted to social media showed footage of the incident, during which the passenger allegedly began hitting a crew member.

United called the passenger’s behavior “unacceptable” and said they were banned from future flights with the airline. United said it is working with local law enforcement in their investigation.

So far this year there have been 586 reported unruly passenger incidents, according to data from the Federal Aviation Administration. During the same time period in 2022, there were 1,306 reported incidents.

San Francisco International Airport did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.