Airline passenger refuses to hang up cell phone during flight


Dallas police met a Southwest Airlines plane at Dallas Love Field on Monday after flight staff reported that a passenger refused to stop using his mobile phone during the flight.

Joe David Jones, 50, was cited for disorderly conduct, Dallas police said.

The incident occurred during a Southwest flight from Austin to Dallas. “After multiple requests, the flight attendants were not successful in getting the passenger to get off the phone,” said Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King.

According to a Dallas police report, flight attendants had asked Mr. Jones to turn off his cell phone and he responded with, “Kiss my —.” When asked again, he stated, “Kiss my —. Not happening,” the report said.

He remained on the phone for about 20 minutes. The pilot radioed the incident to the Love Field tower and Dallas police were notified. Officers met Mr. Jones at the gate and he continued to “exhibit disorderly conduct,” police said.

Federal Aviation Administration regulations prohibit any use of mobile phones except when the aircraft is on the ground.

Ms. King said airlines can be fined up to $25,000 if they permit mobile phone usage during a flight, and individuals also can face fines.

“Our flight attendants asked for local authorities to meet the aircraft,” Ms. King said. “At that point, we stepped out of the way and left the matter to the local authorities.”

Carrie Harmon, a Transportation Security Administration spokewoman, said Monday that the federal agency was not involved with the incident.

Ms. Harmon said unless the incident involves someone who is a security threat, TSA isn’t involved.

The Federal Aviation Administration recorded 133 cases last year in which passengers were charged for “unruly” behavior, such as interfering with the duties of crew members.

That figure does not include cases in which charges were not filed.