In-flight fight between flight attendants causes 4 hour delay

An American Airlines plane at the airport.
Credit: Bruce Bennett

A fight broke out among flight attendants as an American Eagle plane taxied down the runway, causing pilots to return to the gate and find a crew that could get along, reports NBC.

The altercation broke out as the NY to Washington flight left the gate for its 3 p.m. takeoff, passengers told the New York Daily News.

One flight attendant reportedly started the spat by not hanging up her cell phone while the plane was taxiing. That's when the flight's other attendant made this announcement: "Everyone needs to put their phones away, and electronics and so on, including the flight attendant."

Witnesses tell NBC shortly after that announcement, one of the attendants said the other refused to work with her. The argument got so heated that the pilot had to turn the plane around and find a crew that could get along for the one-hour flight. 

"We were informed we were going back to the gate because the flight attendants couldn't work with each other," passenger Dan Alexander told NBCNewYork.

"I find it hard to believe the flight attendants couldn't work with each other for an hour," he added. 

It's more bad publicity for the struggling airline. Wall Street Journal airline columnist Scott McCartney wrote Tuesday that travelers should avoid American Airlines because it is too unreliable. 

On Monday, McCartney noted, only 39% of flights arrived on-time, and 29% were excessively late, at 45 minutes or more past scheduled arrival.

Many pilots have been calling in sick, reportedly over anger at management's use of the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization to void pilots contracts and impose new terms.

Related Stories