Getting banned for life from flying a commercial airline isn’t easy, or common. In fact, I can’t recall another instance of an airline’s taking such a harsh line on passenger misbehavior, ever.
The perpetrator of the misbehavior in question was Danielle Bregoli, a feisty teenager who had gained notoriety for her appearance on the Dr. Phil show, during which she challenged the entire studio audience to a fistfight. Her words, “Cash me ousside. How bow dat?,” quickly became an Internet meme.
That was in January. Now, less than a month later, her outsized behavior has put her in the spotlight again. As reported (appropriately) by TMZ, Bregoli and her mother came to blows with another passenger on a Spirit Air flight during boarding at LAX. Frustrated by the other passenger’s struggle to stow her bag in the overhead bin, Bregoli let her fists do the talking, punching the slowpoke in the face. Harsh words and spit were exchanged. It was ugly.
The unnamed victim of Bregoli’s fury made a citizen’s arrest, after which all three women were escorted off the plane by police. None of the participants were willing to press charges, likely reflecting recognition of their shared culpability. So all were released from police custody, to continue on their ways.
However they chose to continue their journeys, it wasn’t on Spirit, and never would be again. The airline reportedly banned Bregoli, her mom, and the third party from ever boarding another Spirit flight.
You have to wonder whether Bregoli was seeking just such an outcome. After all, no more Spirit flights is a small price to pay for fame. Some would even consider it a reprieve.
Reader Reality Check
What’s the most dramatic incident you’ve ever witnessed on a plane?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.