Epic Plane Outburst Began With 'Shut That Baby Up'

Southwest Airlines passenger forcibly removed by police in Orlando
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2023 8:04 AM CDT

Orlando police had to escort a Southwest Airlines passenger from a plane on Monday after what USA Today calls an "adult tantrum" over a crying baby. Passenger Mark Grabowski recorded a nearly 4-minute viral video of the outburst as the flight, bound for Fort Lauderdale, was stuck in a holding pattern in the air for an hour due to weather. "It was a little bumpy and uncomfortable for everyone and the child was upset," Grabowski tells WOFL. "Just out of nowhere," another passenger "basically said 'shut that baby up,' and it escalated from there." The footage shows a man seated across the aisle from Grabowski arguing with flight attendants as a baby is heard in the background.

"That child has been crying for 40 minutes! Can you calm the child down, please? I had headphones on. I was sleeping," the man says. "Why is the baby yelling? I'm not screaming. Want me to scream? Want me to scream? I'll f---king scream. Please stop the baby," he continues. "Can you lower that voice?" The man continues shouting as a flight attendant apparently tells him to be rational. "We are in a f---ing tin can with a baby in a goddamn echo chamber," the man complains. "You're yelling," another flight attendant tells him. "So is the baby," the passenger replies. "So, you're a man," the flight attendant counters. "F--- you and shut up," says the passenger.

"I'm sorry, y'all," the male flight attendant tells others in the area before returning to the disgruntled passenger. "It's a baby, it's a child," he says. "You're a grown man." Grabowski said a woman and baby were moved to a different part of the plane, which was eventually diverted to Orlando because of the weather. He said the passenger was then asked to leave the plane, but refused. In the end, all passengers deplaned, at which point police forcibly removed him. Grabowski's video shows the man speaking with authorities before leaving a gate accompanied by police. No arrests were made, per WOFL. Southwest referred to the "unacceptable behavior" in a Thursday statement while applauding the "outstanding professionalism" of its employees. (More unruly passenger stories.)

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