Southwest Airlines passengers who got stuck during the holiday travel mayhem were threatened with arrest by a Nashville airport police officer for trespassing.
Amani Robinson, 20, uploaded the recording to TikTok on Wednesday. It features an airport police officer threatning to a line of passengers waiting at a desk outside a gate.
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“You don’t need to be on the secured side if you don’t have a ticket,” the officer informs the consumers.
“But we have tickets,” one of the irate passengers points out. “Your ticket has been cancelled,” the cop responds.
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When Robinson’s mother, Shelley Morrison, inquires about being arrested for trespassing, the airport officer responds, “If you don’t have a valid ticket and you’re on the secured side and you refuse to leave, you’ll be arrested.”
Morrison tries to explain that their flight was delayed, not cancelled, as demonstrated by a text message issued by the airline just minutes before. Another video, posted by former Tennessee State House candidate Bratt Batt, shows the officer telling passengers that they will be arrested for trespassing.
The passengers claim that their tickets are no longer valid due to massive Southwest flight cancellations.
“You have no ticket. You do not need to be on the secured side. “Let’s go,” the officer says.
Morrison continues to criticise the officer’s actions in a second TikTok video, saying him it’s “totally improper” for him to threaten passengers with arrest for trespassing “just for waiting the line.”
According to Robinson and Morrison, they were not impolite to airport officials or Southwest employees.
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The airport’s management has not yet released any information about the cops in the video or whether any travellers were detained for trespassing. Both the US Department of Transportation and Congress said that they intended to look into how the airline handled the winter weather.
Pete Buttigieg, the secretary of transportation, has urged the airline to repay customers for cancelled flights and pay for their hotel stays, transportation charges, and meals if their trip plans are delayed.
Thousands of planes were cancelled or delayed due to a horrific winter storm that ravaged broad areas of the country over the busy holiday weekend.
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Southwest Airlines has been struck the hardest, cancelling 14,500 flights since last Friday. Southwest expected things to return to normal on Friday after a turbulent week, but the domestic carrier nonetheless registered 41 cancellations and 99 delays at airports around the country. According to data from the flight-tracking website FlightAware.com, there were 96 cancellations and 676 delays inside, into, and out of the United States as of Friday morning.