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3.31.23 – APFA Flight Attendant Pete Enriquez Speaks at U.S. Capitol

Friday, March 31, 2023

APFA Flight Attendant Pete Enriquez Speaks at U.S. Capitol
APFA Endorses the Protection from Abusive Passengers Act

This week in Washington, D.C., Pete Enriquez, a MIA-based Flight Attendant, recounted an assault that occurred while he was on duty. APFA’s position has been clear and consistent: Ensure these offenders face prosecution to the full extent of the law with appropriate enforced fines, criminal penalties, and applicable flying bans. “I hope that by sharing my story today, Congress will pass laws to better protect Flight Attendants so that my colleagues—including my daughter, a four-year American Airlines Flight Attendant who is here with me today—will never have to experience a similar situation,” Enriquez stated on U.S. Capitol grounds.

Pete Enriquez Speaks at the Capitol

APFA fully endorses the bipartisan Protection from Abusive Passengers Act re-introduced in Congress by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA), and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). This legislation bans any individual who has been convicted or fined for assaulting, intimidating, or threatening members of an aircraft crew from commercial flights in the U.S. The TSA would be directed to establish and manage a list of these individuals barred from flying until they meet the requirements to be removed from the list. The bill would also permanently ban abusive passengers from participating in the TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry programs.


APFA Flight Attendants at the U.S. Capitol
(L to R – Brian Walsh (former), Monique Enriquez, Paul Hartshorn Jr., Pete Enriquez, Allie Malis, Stephanie Sammartino)

“Flight Attendants continue to face physical and verbal abuse, and we cannot sit by and allow these offenders to commit these dangerous acts from airline to airline. This behavior must stop. We need the added accountability of a federal “no-fly” list to protect all crewmembers and passengers across the industry,” said APFA National President Julie Hedrick. “We fully support this bill in an ongoing effort to reduce inflight incidents and hold abusive passengers accountable if they break the law.”

On January 9th, 2023, on a flight from MIA to LHR, Enriquez was threatened, insulted, spat on, knocked to the floor, and punched in the eye by a passenger. Despite his attempts to de-escalate the incident, the flight diverted back to MIA where the assailant was arrested. Even after being assaulted, Enriquez continued to execute his job responsibilities for the remainder of the flight. “As safety professionals, our priority was to ensure that the remainder of the flight was calm and uneventful so that everyone on the plane stayed safe.”


MIA Flight Attendant Pete Enriquez representing Flight Attendants at the U.S. Capitol

“It is disappointing to me that a passenger who was arrested for physically assaulting and spitting in a Flight Attendant’s face can continue to fly on commercial airplanes here in the United States. Instead of going to jail, my assailant received community service and a fine – the community service was not completed, and the fine will likely not be paid. Why does assault in the air receive less severe punishment than assault that occurs on the ground? My assailant was not held accountable for his actions, and this needs to change,” Enriquez stated in Washington.

Pete was joined at the podium by TWU Flight Attendant Jennifer Vitalo, AFA Flight Attendant Cher Taylor, Senator Reed, Representative Swalwell, Representative Fitzpatrick, and many APFA, AFA, and TWU members.


Flight Attendants from APFA, AFA, and TWU in Washington on March 29th, 2023

APFA also sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland inquiring as to why heftier penalties were not enforced. “When found guilty, we expect that prosecutors understand that deterring this behavior requires vigorous application of the available punishment. Respectfully, I request that you reach out to the 93 U.S. Attorneys across the nation and ask them to take the attacks on Flight Attendants seriously,” wrote Hedrick.

We cannot continue to let this type of behavior occur on our airplanes where everyone’s safety is at risk. We are lobbying Congress to include this bill in the 2023 FAA Reauthorization Bill and will be calling on all 25,000 APFA members to contact our representatives in Congress soon.

In Solidarity,

Allie Malis
APFA Government Affairs Representative

Lori Glattly
APFA Government Affairs Representative

[email protected]

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APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

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