A Thai Airways flight was delayed by two hours after two off-duty pilots demanded to fly first class on a full Zurich to Bangkok flight.
The flight remained on the tarmac until passengers capitulated to the pilots' demands.
The busy 747 Jumbo Jet was only able to take off after two passengers agreed to a downgrade to business class. The passengers later complained of being "held hostage" to the whims of these entitled off-duty air staff.
Thai Airway issued a statement apologising to those flying on THA971 on October 11, saying "to all passengers affected by the unprofessional action that caused the delay."
The flight record of Thai Airways 917 shows the plane took off a full two hours late, via FlightAware.com and arrived behind schedule in Bangkok. The plane missed its scheduled departure from Zurich and arrived in Bangkok over 90 minutes late.
Speaking with the Bangkok Post, the airline's president Sumeth Damrongchaitham expressed sorrow at the news and said he took "responsibility for the incident."
A complaint was filed by the first class passengers saying that the pilots should have been given business class seats and that they held the flight "hostage to achieve what they wanted."
Quoting the journal One Mile at a Time, Travel + Leisure claimed that passengers seated in the first class cabin had not paid first class fares. The route operated a "offered as a first-come, first-served upgrade for business class passengers."
However, after passengers were given the upgrade it would take two whole hours until they agreed to give up their seats for the entitled pilots.