American Flight Delays 27 Hours Because Pilot Attacked Ground Agent

Wednesday night’s American Airlines flight AA930 from Sao Paulo to Miami delayed 27 hours after the Boeing 777-300ER’s captain assaulted an American Airlines ground agent and was arrested.

The pilot “is alleged to have pushed a operations agent and grabbed her around her neck following a disagreement” over alignment of the jet bridge.

  • The agent said “that the connection was ‘correctly aligned’.”

  • She accidentally stepped on the pilot’s foot.

  • Then they started all ‘I know you are but what am I’ got into a disagreement over whether or not she had touched him.

  • That’s when “the pilot then pushed the victim and grabbed her by the neck.” The pilot, for his part, says she tried to punch him.

Not for nothing but he attacked her as International Women’s Day was starting. Usually pilots fight each other.

Passengers were moved onto American’s other Miami- Sao Paulo flights throughout the day.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Sadly, I live in Phoenix, one of American’s hubs. I will do my best to avoid them at all costs.

  2. From the link: ‘Last night, before boarding AA 930 American Airlines flight from São Paulo (GRU) to Miami (MIA), two crew members were engaged in a discussion in the tunnel that connects a platform to the plane.” That was one hell of a discussion.

  3. Not sure I’d jeopardize my lucrative 777 pay scale just to argue with someone. And I’m not sure I’d want such a hothead flying my plane either…he/she needs to learn when to walk away.

  4. It really seems like a well paid pilot with a legacy airline takes his responsibility seriously. If there was a problem with the ramp he wanted it taken care of forthwith. I would not jump to conclusions before knowing the facts.

  5. ^ this. There’s has to be more to this incident than the story portrayed here. The devil is in the details, so to speak.

  6. Psychiatric evaluations are in order for both employees. Excessive use of force may be difficult to explain. The pilot may want to start flying cargo, and the gate agent is probably a typical gate agent.

  7. @Jean Delisi:

    Fantastic! More seats for the rest of us who regularly fly AA.

    Best of luck “making your statement”.

  8. I just wish Gary picked on Delta a bit more, who actually deserve it.
    By my direct observation (>450K EQMs last year on AA) my sense is AA is trying to do better and is making headway in some areas.
    And I am not typically appreciative of airlines.
    DL: Dia

  9. @Jean Delisi

    Why does this article make you want to boycott American Airlines? Do you think they told the pilot to hit her?!?

  10. @Billy D.

    Because they’re a crap airline that have shrunk seats to slightly articulated backboards in a configuration that would be designed by a torturer, stole decades of investment by customers in their mileage plan by shrinking a mile to something else while still calling it a mile, were arrogant about it without apology for intentionally creating misery as a business plan, and now face walkout by millions of lifelong customers like myself who will fly Alaska for full miles or Southwest for free internet and bags to compensate.

    They are the inheritor of Trump airways without the orangutan.

  11. Is all your reporting this crappy? Where did you get your fax because they’re completely wrong. I spoke to several people at the scene. For one the pilot was completely vindicated and released immediately when he was brought before a judge. Unfortunately the other coworker has a history of mental problems and physical attacks against other people. However responsible of you to jump to any other inclusion without knowing any facts but I guess you don’t really care do you?

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