There’s bound to be at least one co-worker in the office who you don’t particularly care for. They’re always late, your personalities just don’t jive, their perfume is overpowering, they said your breath stinks. Well, imagine being a flight attendant: having to travel for hours in a confined space with that one person who just rubs you the wrong way.
At some point, all that tension is bound to go flying, so to speak.
That’s what happened on American Eagle Flight 3823 to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday morning. According to NBC News, after the flight left the gate, two of the flight attendants began arguing. According to witnesses, the argument “got so heated the cockpit crew was alerted, and they ultimately made the decision to turn the plane around and head back to the gate.”
Passenger Dan Alexander told NBC News, “We were informed we were going back to the gate because the flight attendants couldn’t work with each other.”
American Eagle Airlines, an affiliate of American Airlines, sent a statement to Business Insider, which read:
“American Eagle flight 3823 from New York JFK to Washington Reagan was delayed on Wednesday afternoon because of a disagreement between two flight attendants prior to departure. The aircraft returned to the gate to switch flight attendant crews, and the flight departed a short while later. We’re looking into the matter and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”
The flight to New York, which is approximately only one hour in length, was delayed for four hours — not really the “short time” the airline acknowledged — while a replacement crew was put together. Noting the length of the trip, Alexander added, “I find it hard to believe the flight attendants couldn’t work with each other for an hour.”
When the flight finally landed in New York, passengers were still irritated. Marge Lopez exclaimed to NBC News, “It was incredible, totally unbelievable that there was such little professionalism between these women.” Passenger Karen Grantham agreed that it was “ridiculous” that the flight attendants became upset.
“Doesn’t anyone teach good customer service anymore?” she asked NBC News. “You have to be thick-skinned to be in customer service. It just happens, you can’t let this get the best of you.”
The two flight attendants will meet with their manager to discuss the disciplinary outcome of the incident.