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Delta Air Lines Fist Fight: Crew Fight Causes Emergency Landing

A Delta Air Lines fist fight by two flight attendants caused an emergency landing outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. Delta Flight 2598 was flying to Minneapolis from Los Angeles on January 22 when the staffers came to blows.

The Delta flight fist fight happened when the plane was about 180 miles south of Salt Lake City, and prompted the captain to divert the Boeing 757 to a nearby airport. The plane was on the ground for more than an hour before it got back into the air. Passengers’ loved ones waiting to pick them up were likely more than a little bit irritated by the shocking delay. The two brawling flight attendants were reportedly not permitted back on the plane, USA Today notes.

An unidentified Delta Flight 2598 passenger reported the flight attendant fist fight to other staffers on the plane, according to an Aviation Herald report. Delta Air Lines reportedly cited the “bad behavior” of the two flight attendants when noting why the individuals were not permitted to remain on the flight. The names and genders of the staffers has not yet been revealed publicly.

The airline later emailed a letter of apology to all passengers and offered them Delta loyalty program miles or travel vouchers to make up for any upset caused by the flight attendant fist fight at 37,000 feet and delayed arrival at their chosen destination.

Here’s an excerpt from a Delta Air Lines statement to the Aviation Herald about the fist fight on the plane.

“Some of our team members did not display their best behavior. We expect our flight crew to be nothing but courteous and professional at all times and what you experienced was far from that. I am sorry we didn’t deliver on our brand promise for you today.”

The problem that provoked the Delta flight fist fight has also not been shared with the public. The statement to the aviation trade publication only revealed that the two flight attendants were “disagreeing over work issues.”

Delta Air Lines also stated that the emergency landing in Salt Lake City prompted by the fist fight does not, in any way, reflect the level of professional expected of company employees. Delta is the nation’s second largest airline, situated only behind American Airlines in the number of passengers served and miles flown each year, ABC News notes.

Delta Air Lines emerged from the Huff Daland Dusters crop dusting company that was founded in 1924. The agriculture industry business was the first commercial endeavor of its kind in the United States. The Macon, Georgia, company moved its headquarters to Monroe, Louisiana, a year later, and added 18 planes to its fleet. At the time, the company boasted the largest private airplane fleet in the nation, according to the business website.

The initial operations of the flight business ranged from as far north as Arkansas, to California and Mexico to the west, and down south to Florida. The principal founder of the modern day company, C.E. Woolman, bought Huff Daland Dusters in 1928 and renamed it Delta Air Service. Woolman was the first company vice president and served under president D.Y. Smith.

In 1929, Delta Air Service began its first passenger flights. The planes flew passengers to Dallas and Jackson, Mississippi. The Travel Air 3-6000B planes were equipped to carry one pilot and six passengers. Thus, the early planes did not hire flight attendants or ever need to divert from their flight plan due to a fist fight in the air.

[Image via Tupungato/Shutterstock]