The US Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg has urged passengers to respect mask mandates and plane crew, after an altercation left a flight attendant with concussion and missing teeth.
A passenger was given a permanent ban from Southwest airlines after an altercation on 23 May. Vyvianna Quinonez was accused of ignoring orders from staff before striking a member of the flight crew.
"As we've communicated previously, we do have a process to permanently restrict passengers from travelling on Southwest, and please know that the passenger involved in the most recent incident has been advised that she may no longer fly on Southwest Airlines," read an airline memo seen by USA Today.
The flight attendant lost two teeth and suffered other injuries to her face, according to AP reporting.
Quinonez, 28, is also facing a charge of "battery causing serious bodily injury" connected to the incident, according to the Port of San Diego Harbour Police Department.
Transport Secretary Buttigieg spoke out against the rise in unruly passengers and violence against flight crew.
"The flight crews and other workers you encounter, they're doing their job," he said, during a conference on the ongoing mask mandate.
"They're following regulations and they're there to keep you safe. It is absolutely unacceptable to ever mistreat a transportation worker."
Last week alone, in the US there were five serious incidents on planes for which the FAA is pressing civil charges of up to US$15,000 ($20,600).
"Part of it has to do with the unique conditions of the physical space," Secretary Buttigieg said, linking the rise in violent incidents with the Covid-19 precautions for crowded spaces.
"Part of it has to do with the conditions of it being a workplace, and folks who really don't have a choice about being there, the way it is in some other cases."
Masks will continue to be mandatory on transport in the US until 13 September , for "public health considerations."