Pilot Breaks A Flight Attendant’s Arm, Loses Tooth, In Inflight Employee Brawl

A pilot assaulted a flight attendant, breaking the cabin crewmember’s arm, on Donghai Airlines flight DZ6297 from Nantong, China to Xian on February 20. The flight attendant fought back, and the pilot lost a tooth.

About 50 minutes prior to touchdown, the pilot of the 726 mile trip to what was one the Silk Road’s eastern end got up to use the first class lavatory. A passenger seated up front got up to use the lav. On domestic Chinese flights, as on American ones, this isn’t permitted. The flight attendant working the forward galley should be blocking the path between the cabin and the cockpit. But that didn’t happen here.

The pilot “asked the passenger to wait at their seat,” but the passenger ignored the instruction. That’s when the pilot let loose on the flight attendant for “not doing his job properly and affecting flying safety.”

The toilet argument soon spiralled out of hand and became physical, social media posts claimed this was initiated by the pilot. In the resulting fight the flight attendant’s arm was broken, while the pilot lost a tooth.


Donhai Airlines Boeing 737, Credit: Windmemories, via Wikimedia Commons

The captain, in charge of the flight, didn’t permit the flight attendant to board for the return flight to Nantong.

According to the airline, both crewmembers have been suspended and they are conducting “an overall safety rectification.”

The company attached high importance to the argument among the crew members during flight and conducted a strict internal verification. Those staff members involved have been suspended their job to ensure flight safety.

Donghai Airlines previously suspended a pilot for allowing his wife in the cockpit – twice – and another pilot for driving “a plane directly into the airfield for a flight from Shenzhen to Wuxi before preparation work was completed.”

(HT: Live and Let’s Fly)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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