Alaska Airlines pilot and co-pilot argue in front of passengers before returning plane to gate

Alaska Airlines Airbus A320-214 N623VA © Tomas Del Coro on Wikimedia Commons

A pilot and co-pilot on an Alaska Airlines flight engaged in a verbal dispute in front of their passengers. The incident occurred on 18 July on flight AS1080 from Washington Dulles International Airport bound for San Francisco International Airport, operated by Airbus A320 registered N845VA.

The disagreement ended with the pilot turning the plane around on the tarmac instead of taking off. Flight attendants had no idea what led to the dispute.

According to a passenger on the flight, the pilot made an announcement informing the passengers that the plane would be turning around and returning to the gate due to the issues between him and his co-pilot. He added that he would be getting off of the flight in the interest of the safety of everyone on board.

He is said to have walked off the plane “fuming.” A person posted on Twitter a video of the pilot walking away.

Alaska Airlines provided a new crew to continue the flight to San Francisco and has offered the passengers compensation of $175 for the inconvenience. In a statement, the airline said, “While this situation was unfortunate, in the interest of safety, the pilots did the right thing. Both the captain and the first officer were evaluated by management and it was determined they remained fit to fly… We apologised to our guests for the inconvenience this caused.

The flight had already been delayed 90 minutes due to inclement weather, however, the unexpected last-minute change caused the total delay time to reach two and a half hours.

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