Police Removed People From Delta Flight Yesterday — This Time It Was the Crew

I’ve been a huge critic of airlines turning customer service problems into law enforcement problems. When there’s a disagreement or frustrated customer, airline staff are too quick to call the police.

Sometimes crew take altercations into their own hands like the Delta pilot who was commended for hitting a passenger or the American flight attendant who was suspended for hitting a passenger.

Sometimes the police though respond to an incident and it’s the airline crew they’re forced to remove.

Copyright: idealphotographer

Yesterday a Delta pilot and flight attendant got into a fight at New York LaGuardia.

The 54-year-old pilot had a dispute with a 26-year-old flight attendant prior to takeoff aboard the plane bound for Portland, Maine, sources said.

He and the attendant exchanged words in the aisle and he called her “a piece of s—,” a source said.

“His conversation was racist, inconsiderate and unprofessional,” the source said.

Each alleged the other had aggressively grabbed the other’s arm.

Six Port Authority police with guns responded, interviewed crew in the jetway, but made no arrests. However the employees who fought were ordered off the aircraft and the flight was delayed two hours — which just means that it was departing LaGuardia.

Actual fights between crew are rare, but we’ve seen United Express pilots get into a fight and there’s even a procedure for airlines to systematically separate pilots (“do not pair”).

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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  1. WTF is wrong with people at all levels in this country? What has happened to courtesy and professionalism? These people are an embarrassment to them selves and their professions.

  2. “Port Authority police with guns”? Somebody needs to tell these clowns that guns and airplanes don’t mix.

  3. @Stephen
    Not exactly what is wrong with people in USA. It happens in all country. However, USA is a huge country (almost half continent of north america). And the press have access to some incident that would be “secured” elsewhere or simply doesn’t apply to public interest at all.

  4. A spokesman noted that the plane was operated by a subsidiary of Delta, Endeavor Air.

    “Endeavor Air apologizes to the customers on board Endeavor Air flight 3925, operating as Delta Connection, from LaGuardia to Portland, Maine whose travel was inconvenienced as a result of a disagreement between two crew members. The actions of these crew members, as described, in no way reflects the respect, values and professionalism we expect from our employees,” the spokesman said.

  5. “WTF is wrong with people at all levels in this country?”

    There are those people that want everyone to know they have all rights and won’t be disrespected.

  6. Hey Gary, thought you might like to know that a Delta flight attendant simply walked of her flight at BDL this morning telling the Red Coat ‘Don’t talk to me’.
    She apparantly left the terminal as she was never seen again. The flight was delayed for over two hours while new flight attendants could be flown in from Detroit.
    The flight was the 8:45 from BDL to MSP where, needless to say, many missed their connections because of this flt attendant.

  7. “Port Authority police with guns”? Somebody needs to tell these clowns that guns and airplanes don’t mix.

    These are actual law enforcement officers conducting actual law enforcement operations at all NYC ports, airports, bridges, and tunnels — not fake rent-a-cops in illegally-labeled uniforms. NYC is not Chicago. Please understand the distinction. Also 9/11 actually happened. Hence regarding why they are armed.

  8. The pilot called the FA “a piece of s—” And a spokesperson considered this remark ‘racist.” I didn’t realize that one might tell the race of a person from their excrement. Will wonders never cease.

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