Saturday’s 1:41pm United Express Lubbock – Houston flight operated by ExpressJet was delayed 5 hours for an unusually interesting reason.
An eyewitness shares,
Stewardess says pilot and copilot are in dispute and she doesn’t feel safe flying. She asks us if we agree. [Passengers were offloaded.] Dispute continues with pilot (or copilot) upset and demanding to know who said they were fighting. Now police are here…
The outcome? “Good news. New plane here. Old pilots not here.”
A five hour delay of course is quite a lot for a flight that never leaves the state of Texas, though Texas is a big state and Google tells me driving still wouldn’t have been faster.
An ExpressJet spokesperson tells me,
ExpressJet flight 4453, operating as United Express from Lubbock, Texas (LBB) to Houston was delayed due to crew availability. All passengers were re-accommodated with a new crew. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
I guess the crew did make themselves ‘unavailable’ by virtue of their actions. The question is, how long will these particular crew members be unavailable? Would you feel comfortable flying on an aircraft piloted by people who let their tempers flare up in this way?