SkyWest Airlines has launched an internal investigation into allegations that a recent flight from California to Texas was delayed following a spat between “petty” flight attendants.
The flight, operated by SkyWest for American Eagle, had boarded in Los Angeles and was scheduled to leave for Houston when one of the first-class passengers requested to switch seats with someone in coach so she could sit next to her husband, according to a passenger who filmed part of the incident. A male flight attendant told the passenger it was OK, but a female flight attendant quickly interjected and said it was against the carrier’s policy, she said.
“They kept bickering and going back and forth in the middle of the aisle about the rules, and what was right and what was wrong,” said Ashley Brewer, an anchor and reporter with ESPN who claims she was seated beside the first-class passenger. “They just had some beef or something.”
Brewer said the male flight attendant began yelling at his co-worker, who ran to the front of the plane and began crying. They both refused to work with each other, Brewer claimed.
In a video shared to TikTok by Brewer, a man she identified as the male flight attendant is eventually seen deplaning, after which the passengers were made to wait while a replacement crew member became available, she claimed. But after an hour, Brewer said the female flight attendant decided to deplane as well, prompting another nearly-hour-long delay until the flight crew was fully staffed. (Data from FlightAware, meanwhile, suggests the flight was only delayed by a little over an hour.)
“So then we just sat down and waited and waited and waited,” said Brewer, who called the flight attendants “petty” for their behavior. “And it was a whole big thing. They had the flight crew come on, the pilots came out and tried to talk through [it]. It was such an ordeal. And I’m so glad it’s over.”
A representative for SkyWest did not disclose any of the circumstances surrounding Saturday’s delay, but suggested the employees’ “professionalism” was at the center of its investigation.
“SkyWest is aware of reports regarding a flight attendant issue that caused flight 4860, operating as American Eagle from Los Angeles to Houston, to be delayed on Saturday,” according to a statement shared with Nexstar. “We regret the delay this caused for our passengers and apologize for any inconvenience. We hold all our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and are conducting an internal investigation related to this flight.”
Brewer claims the flight ultimately departed with a new, “sweet” flight crew who didn’t cause any drama at all.
“What is wrong with this world?!!” Brewer tweeted, reflecting on her flight. “It gets nuttier by the day.”