Hostesses exchange punches at 37,000ft

A Delta Airlines aircraft. A flight from Los Angeles to Minneapolis was diverted after an argument about work issues escalated into a fist fight. Photo / Getty Images
A Delta Airlines aircraft. A flight from Los Angeles to Minneapolis was diverted after an argument about work issues escalated into a fist fight. Photo / Getty Images

A Delta Air Lines plane was grounded last month after two flight attendants onboard the Los Angeles-to-Minneapolis flight got into a fist fight at 37,000 feet.

The altercation began when the flight attendants got into a disagreement about "work issues" that escalated to a fist fight, according to the Aviation Herald. A third woman attempting to break up the fight was hit by "flying fists," the publication reported.

The flight was about 200 miles south of Salt Lake City when the captain decided to land the Boeing 757 at Salt Lake City International Airport.

The reason for landing, according to the Herald, was because the pilot "wanted to hear from his flight attendants."

The plane stayed on the ground for 80 minutes before taking off and reaching Minneapolis more than an hour late, according to the Herald.

In a statement emailed to The Washington Post, the airline confirmed the incident and offered an apology:

"Delta apologizes to those customers who were inconvenienced after flight 2598 from Los Angeles to Minneapolis-St. Paul made an unscheduled stop in Salt Lake City following an altercation involving two flight attendants on board," the statement says. "The actions of these crew members in no way reflect the values and professionalism we expect from all of our employees."

The statement adds that the company provided a letter to customers upon landing in Minneapolis-St. Paul to "apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused."

"In addition," the statement concludes, "SkyMiles members received miles, while customers who are not currently SkyMiles members received a travel voucher."

Last month's midair boxing match wasn't the first time a spat among airline staff has grounded a commercial plane.

A flight en route to Chicago from Raleigh-Durham International Airport was forced to turn around in 2012 when two flight attendants got into a heated argument, according to ABC News.

Authorities determined that fight was not physical and no arrests were made, ABC reported. A United Airlines spokeswoman told ABC that the employees were removed and the plane was re-staffed.

That same month, ABC reported, an American Airlines flight leaving New York's John F. Kennedy Airport wasn't able to take off when two flight attendants got into an altercation over a cellphone. The fight, which forced the pilot to return to the gate, turned into a four-hour delay for the passengers onboard, ABC noted.

- Washington Post

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