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tv   Nightline  ABC  June 18, 2021 12:37am-1:07am PDT

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♪ this is "nightline" >> tonight, unfriendly skies. travellers are back, planes are back, and jaws are getting whacked. >> one big punch and dude was on the floor. >> thousands of unruly passengers, are pandemic rules to blame. >> there's so much resistance to request for basic compliance. >> plus, changing the game. from the slopes -- to the track. to the mat. the young athletes who just want to play. >> the policy was stringent, i need to be able to compete on the girl's team. >> facing anti transgender laws as they fight to break down barriers. >> "nightline" will be right back.
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♪ good evening, thank you for joining us. if you think you've been hearing a lot about conflicts in the skies, that's because tempers are flaring at 3,000 feet of the passengers
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this year most were refusing to comply with masked mandates, people getting hurt and some getting arrested. here's our abc >> it's a welcome sign as the nation turns the corner from the pandemic but as passengers head back to the skies there's been an unlamaring increase in unruly behavior. turbulence in planes across the country. last month a flight attend antibiotic assau a flight attendant punched in the face so hard that she knocked out two teeth. >> just one quick punch and she was on the floor. >> the apparent cause, the flight attendant asked the passenger to wear her mask correctly and is now charged with felony battery causing serious injury, a family member
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responded no comment. southwest saying the passenger repeatedly ignored standard inflight instructions and became a abusive and ban noud from southwest ever again. once coast was partly over and people were released their attitude is, look, we're entitled to certain things and everything is an infringement. masks are an infringement. >> so far this year the faa has received more than 3,000 reports of unruly passengers on planes, overwhelmingly passengers refusing to wear a mask. just today this man was escorted off a flight by law enforcement. a fellow passenger said he refused to wear a mask and became verbally abusive. no passengers were arrested or charged. >> i felt prompted to take a stand when flight attendant was injured in the face because it's
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one of many incidents i heard from my colleagues at southwest airlines and also nationwide and enough is enough. this is a deplorable act. >> she's been a flight attendant for nearly three decade. >> the stories i'm hearing right now is how much things have changed. how much more difficult it is during the day just to get through a basic flight because there's so much resistance to request for basic compliance. >> flight attendants are required to enforce the faa mask mandate for air travel in place until at least september. even as many states across the country lift all covid restrictions. in april another southwest flight attendant had to ask a passenger to leave after she refused to wear her mask.
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passengers cheered as she was escorted off. a similar incident was caught on tape last october. two passengers were traveling together from miami to atlanta on a delta flight, one allegedly refused to wear a mask and hit the flight attendant in the face. >> whoa! >> the flight returned to the gate and they were asked to get off the plane, faa proposing fine of $27,500 to the passenger who hit the flight crew. faa extended the policy increasing fining people for non-compliance. >> these fines are among the strongest that we've ever taken in the agency. we will exercise the maximum of our authority to make sure we get this under control. >> faa identifying 394 cases this year where passengersing may have broken the law by interfering with the duties of crew member, the highest number
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of potential violations ever recorded by the agency and more than double the amount of cases investigated last year. incidents like this one, an off-duty flight attendant on leave allegedly threatened to take down this delta plane from los angeles to atlanta. passengers and crew members restrained 34-year-old steph an duncan accused of making terroristic threats and assaulting two flight attendant. the flight was diverted to oklahoma city. authorities said he was showi showing -- his attorney didn't respond to request for comment. >> if someone's able to get into the cockpit it's a big deal. you're talking about the jeopardy of a lot of people. >> the ceo delta said all passengers were safe at all times. >> i had no doubt that aircraft was in danger.
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it was a sad and unfortunate situation but the team is doing a good job managing the massive surge back to air travel. >> last week tsa screened more than 2 million on friday through sunday, the most since the pandemic began. >> it's huge and going to keep going up. >> says the chief communication officer for united. >> just a year ago we couldn't do this. incredible how things have changed. >> the airline industry was nearly decimated by the pandemic and received a $50 billion bail out as part of the covid relief package, united alone lost more than $7 billion in 2020. >> we didn't shut down but in some respects did come close in new arc airport more than 400 a day at one point down to 15 flights a day. >> now the airlines are bouncing back and united is working to
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accommodate all of the travellers who are returning. >> the come back has been fast and it's been furious. has anything surprised you about that? >> people really are eager to get back in the skies and traveling again. just in june and july united will add 900 flights a day. >> despite the increase in services this year nearly all united travellers take the federal mask mandate seriously. >> truth is 99.9% of customers are on their best behavior and recognize the importance of the mask mandates. >> but some flight attendants say more needs to be done to keep everyone on board safe. >> i know this is a big ask, they need to step in when these incidents occur. >> as americans rediscover the joys of travel, the hope is that they bring their manners along with their luggage. >> one of the things we've
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learned through this pandemic is our ability to cooperate and synthesize with one another and cut other people slack makes this a better world to live in and better world to travel. >> we need to be kind to one another. we're in a close environment. we're all going to have a good time and get to our destination on time without issue if everyone listens to the flight crew and pay attention to the safety briefing and follow the directions. >> our thanks to geo. coming up, young and trans and just wanting to play. finally foundrilled we our dream home in the mountains. the views are great, the air is fresh. (sfx: branches rustle) it is bear country though. hey boo-boo! we hit the jackpot! bear! bear! bear! look, corn on the cob! oohh chicken! don't mind if i do! they're hungry. t-bone! that's what i call a smorgasbord! at least geico makes bundling our home and car insurance easy. they do save us a ton of money. we'll take the cobbler to go!
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the controversy surrounding transgender student-athletes is heating up with multiple states prohinting them from playing on teams that match their gender identity how is effecting young people, we look at some of their stories. here's our "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> would it be fair for me to be competing pointboy's team? no. i am a girl. that's who i am, no matter what >> sarah rose huckman is grace in motion. >> trans athletes and trans individuals humans too and we want to with our lives live as authentically and
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discrimination-free as possible. >> for transgender athletes like sarah playing is not about winning it's about kpeetsing competing as yourself. the new documentary on hulu intimately follows the lives of three transgender athletes. >> think of us being humans and teenagers, most teens are doing sports are doing it because they love it. >> filmmakers elevating the voices of teen activists, eight states already passed laws restricting teen from playing in identify and dozens more in the works. >> we made this to support trans youth that was the intention from day one. >> when a lot of legislation is being introduced it is not actually centering the experiences of these trans youth. >> sarah said she expressed her gender before she could even talk and at 12 she came out as
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trans to her family, friend and classmates sharing on social media. >> if you accept me for who i am that's great, if you don't i'm sorry and hope in the future that you find that i am the same as any other girl. >> so what kind of response did you get? >> i got a standing ovation. it was just amazing to see that outpour of love and support from people i trusted and loved. >> when sarah skis in high school the new hampshire rules required trans athletes to have gender confirmation. >> and argued she didn't have to prove her identity. >> the policy was discriminatory i need the policy to change and to compete on the girl's team. >> please welcome one of the bravest girls i know. [ applause ] >> i want to fight for what's right. that's when i started talking with the community saying this is not right. we need this to change.
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>> in 2018 she testified in front of the state assembly on behalf of a bill that would make workplace discrimination on basis of gender illegal. >> -- i can be denied entrances to colleges, partners and jobs simply because i'm transgender. >> she's now a junior at university of new hampshire proud of her victories on and off the slopes and hoping to have paved the way for athletes like her. [ cheers and applause ] >> welcome back. i have something amazing to tell you guys. hp139 is a law that will protect transgender citizens of new hampshire from discrimination, love you guys, bye. >> matt begs has taken big steps as a trans male wrestler from
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texas who dominated in high school but forced to wrestle girls. >> i love it. last season when i was wrestling, and say, there was a huge uproar and controversy with me being trans, i am a male, so i should compete with the male. >> 17-year-old matt begs a junir born a girl now in the process of becoming a boy wins the girl's state wrestling tournament, wanted to wrestle the boys but he wanted to wrestle the boys. >> texas university wouldn't allow it. always in his corner his grandma nancy. >> this is my dumbbell i wear to work, my sam brown. >> i'm a deputy sheriff and i work in dallas. i have been with him if them 25 years. >> she originally had a hard
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time accepting his identity since has become his fiercestfi ally. >> she's a hard core republican and gun-toting sheriff and it doesn't get in the way of her love for mack. >> now mack on the men's wrestling team. >> he said this is all i ever wanted, to be seen, respected and be me and do what i love to do. >> that's not about medals and ribbons is. >> no, not at all. >> and she agrees sports has helped her through her transition, she worked hard to be blazingly fast on the track. >> i knew all along i was a girl but didn't know what to call it, 733. ♪ >> if no one supported me, i don't think i
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would run track because why run on a team where you don't feel comfortable or accepted. >> "nightline" spoke with andrea last month. >> some of it can be hard to put on a smile all the time for the camera but i continue to do it for those athlete who's need this and who maybe don't have a voice. >> connecticut does not restrict participation in sports on the basis of gender identity but andrea has still faced harsh criticism. a lana smith a top runner joined others in a lawsuit sponsored by the alliance defending freedom, hoping to ban trans girls against sis gender girls like herself. >> i just realized how much ahead they were then the other girls. >> she's forced to compete on an unfair playing field we're talking about equal opportunities. >> that lawsuit has been dismissed because andrea and
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others have graduated. >> to me it's more about the team and doing what i love and me being who i am. in a sport that i love. >> the filmmakers hope their stories ask serve as inspiration for other trans athletes and be an eye-opener for everyone else. especially legislatures. >> you got a 15-year-old trying to laws to allow her just to exist. right? that is not healthy. and outside of sarah rose who has the fortitude, the intelligence, the resiliency, right, to go actually do that work, that's not work we should be asking of a teen, right. so i would like to see really a federal policy with a lot of clarity, inclusion and equality. >> what would you say to trans kids out there who are feeling perhaps either under attack or at least under scrutiny. >> i would tell them that
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they're loved and accepted by many people. even if it's not like your immediate family or immediate community. just know that there are people out there like me, mack and andrea who love and accept you for who you are. and that it takes time to find the family -- the true family. and in time you'll find it and you'll find them and you'll be forever loved by everybody out there. >> our thanks to juju, we'll be right back with a final note. [sfx: rainstorm] ♪ comfort in the extreme. ♪ the lincoln family of luxury suvs. (vo) pro plan liveclear, a breakthrough 10 years in the making ♪ that reduces allergens in cat hair and dander. outstanding nutrition with the power to change lives. this is purina pro plan liveclear.
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♪ and finally tonight, a programming note, be sure to watch our special tomorrow, juneteenth, at 9:00 p.m. eastern. catch our full episode on hulu see you back here tomorrow. thanks for the company, america. good night.
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