With travel still limited during the pandemic, most headline-making airline incidents this year have been about passengers refusing to wear now-required masks on their flights. But on Sunday, a woman was denied boarding for not wearing long-required shoes.
Police say they were called to Miami International Airport by American Airlines after Brittney Mohammadi, 23, of California leapt at agents behind the counter in response to being told she could not board a flight barefoot. Mohammadi and her boyfriend Manuel Arteaga, 26, were arrested by Miami-Dade police for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
“On Sunday, September 27, two customers were denied boarding on flight 1061 with service from Miami (MIA) to Los Angeles (LAX) after attempting to board the aircraft without shoes,” a spokesperson for American Airlines told The Washington Post via email. “After being informed of our policy, the customers became irate and one attempted to strike an American team member at the gate.”
Video of the incident circulating on social media shows Mohammadi attempting to jump over the ticket counter, and Arteaga pulling her back. Mohammadi appears to not be wearing a mask.
A video from 7 News Miami later shows them being wrestled to the ground by police outside the airport.
7 News Miami interviewed Mohammadi and Arteaga on Tuesday, who said Mohammadi left her shoes at TSA and became upset when she was told she couldn’t board. The couple also told the TV station they were intoxicated.
When asked if she knew she couldn’t board a plane without shoes, Mohammadi told 7 News Miami, “Okay, you know what? I don’t go on the airport that often.”
American Airlines dress code states that passengers must “dress appropriately; bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.”
Miami-Dade Police Det. Argemis Colome told The Washington Post police were called to Miami International Airport by American Airlines for “a disturbance between a couple and American Airlines employees.”
“Violence of any kind is not tolerated by American Airlines. We thank the Miami-Dade Police Department for their quick action to ensure the safety of our customers and team members,” an American Airlines spokesperson said.