Passengers on an American Airlines flight from São Paulo, Brazil to Miami were delayed an excruciating 27 hours due to an incident between the plane’s pilot and a ground agent.
American Airlines flight AA930 had to be canceled at 1 a.m. local time on Thursday morning, minutes before it was supposed to board, after the pilot and the ground agent got into an argument about the alignment of the jet bridge, which connects the plane to the terminal.
According to the Daily Mail, the plane’s co-pilot attempted to adjust the alignment of the bridge before passengers began to board, but the pilot intervened, claiming the bridge was then in the wrong position.
When the ground agent told the pilot that the bridge was, in fact, in the “correct position,” things got heated.
The pilot allegedly pushed the ground agent and grabbed her by the neck during this disagreement. Some passengers who witnessed the scene also claimed that the worker “inadvertently” stepped on the pilot’s foot, to make matters worse, according to the Daily Mail.
The pilot also claimed in a report to police that the ground agent tried to punch him.
Due to the extreme delay, passengers were given meal vouchers and a free night in a hotel while they waiting for the next available flight.
“Last night, before boarding AA 930 American Airlines flight from São Paulo (GRU) to Miami (MIA), two crew members were engaged in a discussion in the tunnel that connects a platform to the plane. The authorities are now in charge of the case and providing support to staff members. This is a legal investigation and we are cooperating fully with the authorities…We apologize to our customers for the problem,” American Airlines said in a statement to the Daily Mail.
Passengers were moved to several different flights to Miami throughout the next day.
The pilot was arrested and charged for “offending the bodily integrity or health of another.” He could face between three months and one year in jail if found guilty.