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Press Release

Disruptive Passenger On Airline Facing Federal Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee

NASHVILLE – A criminal complaint unsealed today, charges a Lebanon, Tennessee woman with interfering with a flight crew following an incident on board a Spirit Airlines flight flying to Nashville on November 27, 2021, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Amanda Renee Henry, 43, surrendered to FBI agents in Nashville this morning and will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge later today. 

“In accordance with the Attorney General’s directive, the prosecution of those who endanger the safety of airline passengers, flight crews, and flight attendants is a priority of this office,” said U.S. Attorney Wildasin.  Those whose behavior disrupts or otherwise endangers the safety of persons on aircrafts should expect to face federal charges.”

According to the criminal complaint, Henry was a passenger on a flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and became disruptive and appeared to be intoxicated.  Passengers seated next to Henry requested to be moved to other seats due to Henry’s disruptive behavior.  Since Henry was seated next to an emergency exit, flight attendants decided for the safety of everyone on board to move Henry to another seat.  When they requested that Henry move, she refused and grabbed her carry-on bag and ran toward the front of the aircraft screaming, “I’m getting off this plane.”  Another flight attendant blocked Henry from getting to the main cabin door and began to restrain her, at which time Henry began to kick and hit the flight attendant.  Henry also assaulted the other flight attendant who assisted in trying to restrain her. 

Once the flight attendants were able to restrain Henry, a passenger who was an off-duty firefighter assisted the crew by sitting with Henry and keeping her calm for the duration of the flight.  When the plane landed at Nashville International Airport, Henry was arrested by the Nashville Airport Department of Public Safety and charged with public intoxication.

If convicted of the federal offense, Henry faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Kurtzman.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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David Boling
Public Affairs Officer

Updated December 28, 2021

Violent Crime