United Airlines planes are parked at their gates at O'Hare International Airport ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in Chicago, Illinois
United Airlines has banned Cody Benjamin Lovins from future flights after his assault on a crew member on Sunday. Reuters


  • The passenger was arrested and charged with battery following the incident on a United Airlines flight
  • United Airlines banned the passenger from future flights with the airline
  • The passenger allegedly became disruptive after a crew member told him he and his wife were in the wrong seats

A 47-year-old man allegedly attacked a United Airlines flight attendant after he was told that he and his wife were in the wrong seats.

Cody Benjamin Lovins, of Montgomery, Texas, was arrested and charged with battery following an alleged "physical altercation" on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco, California, to Houston, Texas, Sunday, ABC News reported, citing San Francisco Police.

In a statement, United Airlines confirmed that a passenger became "disruptive" during boarding on the flight and allegedly assaulted a crew member.

One passenger on the flight said that the incident began after a crew member allegedly told Lovins that he and his wife were in the wrong seats.

Naya Jimenez told KTRK that the man had to be restrained by other passengers after he appeared to punch a flight attendant multiple times.

"They had to bring in a gate attendant to try to talk to both of them," Jimenez said.

"After he paused for a minute, he ran toward where the pilot was, where the emergency exit doors are, and attempted to open it. (He) successfully opened the emergency exit and was about to jump down," she said of her fellow passenger. "The plane is elevated, so he would have jumped apparently two stories to the ground, and the flight attendants just kicked in, and everybody pulled him back to safety."

Footage of the incident was captured and shared on social media by "Good Morning America," including the moment the passenger allegedly began hitting the crew member.

The couple attempted to leave the plane voluntarily. However, United Airlines immediately contacted the police.

"On Sunday night, our team at San Francisco International Airport immediately contacted law enforcement officials after a customer became disruptive during boarding," United Airlines said in a statement obtained by KTRK. "We're grateful to our team in San Francisco for their professionalism in this situation and for looking out for the safety of our customers and their fellow United employees."

Lovins was banned from future flights with United Airlines. The airline said it is working closely with authorities in their investigation.

This was the latest in a string of incidents involving unruly plane passengers. According to data from the Federal Aviation Administration, there have been 586 reported incidents so far this year.

During the same time period last year, 1,306 such incidents were reported.

A United Airlines aircraft lands at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia
A 47-year-old passenger attacked a crew member who was informing him that he was in the wrong seat on Sunday, Apr. 30. Reuters