American Airlines flight attendant attacks crew members and air marshals mid-air

American Airlines planes are seen on the tarmac at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida.
American Airlines planes are seen on the tarmac at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida. PHOTO: AFP

An American Airlines flight attendant was arrested after attacking her crew members and two air marshals during a flight from North Carolina to Frankfurt.

According to reports, Joanne Snow was charged with interference with flight crews and attendants, and with assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer or federal employee.

Snow had initially requested that she not work the flight, but American Airlines' management did not remove her, reported Associated Press.

She had told federal air marshal Joseph Fialka that she was "crazy" and a "train wreck" before the plane took off, according to an affidavit. Her fellow crew members also told him Snow was acting erratically.

During the flight, one crew member told Mr Fialka that Snow slapped her in the face while they were in the aircraft's middle galley.

Snow then shoved Mr Fialka several times on his shoulder and arm as he was seated and hit him in the chest with an open palm later in the flight. She also allegedly grabbed the collar of another air marshal.

Mr Fialka said Snow also "appeared to be mentally unstable" on the return flight from Frankfurt to Charlotte on Nov 25 as well.

She had tried to get past the passport control office and screamed "The air marshals are gonna get me!" when Mr Fialka told her she would be detained if she did not stop.

She was handcuffed but suddenly became physical and kicked Mr Fialka's legs. Other law enforcement officers had to help to bring her to the interview room.

"We are aware of the incident, along with the subsequent criminal complaint, and take this matter very seriously," American Airlines spokesman Katie Cody said in a statement to the Charlotte Observer.

"We are cooperating fully with federal law enforcement in their investigation, and are working directly with our employees. The safety and security of our customers and employees is always the top priority."