A Monday Alaska Airlines flight from Washington, DC to San Francisco was delayed because the Captain and First Officer had a disagreement and the Captain chose to leave the aircraft rather than fly with the other pilot.
The event on Alaska Flight AS1080 left the passengers shocked after the Captain said over the intercom that he was returning to the gate since the co-pilot and she wasn’t “getting along.”
The flight was already delayed, according to passengers, because of thunderstorms in the Washington region, but they were kept on the plane for more than two hours as Alaska tried to find a new pilot to fly the flight.
The Airbus A320-operated service was scheduled to leave Dulles at 4:10 pm, but it didn’t take off until almost 7:30 pm and eventually landed in San Francisco almost two and a half hours later than scheduled.
— CDC MUSIC FACTORY (@iwillbeamyouup) July 18, 2022
“This is a first for me. Alaska #1080 from IAD to SFO, already delayed due to weather, comes back to the gate.
The pilot says he and his first officer can’t get along… so in the interest of safety..’ and then leaves the plane,” wrote Al Jackson, executive vice president of health at public relations from Ketchum in a tweet.
Another passenger claimed that after returning to the gate, the captain was “fuming” and left the aircraft.
A third said the pilot initially told the passengers they were returning to the gate due to a “failure to get along.” The Twitter user continued: “Very scary that your pilots could be this careless and flippant”.
The end of his "apology" pic.twitter.com/V48CSPMMHa
— Goodnight, Texas (@Goodnight_Texas) July 18, 2022
According to a fourth passenger who posted a description of the occurrence on Reddit, the original pilot was replaced and received “roaring applause,” but the other passengers were never informed if they were traveling with the “hard to get along with the passenger.”
Long-running contract negotiations between Alaska Airlines’ pilots and the airline have been a source of contention for years, but things took a turn for the worse in May when the pilots decisively decided to authorize strike action.
The fact that Alaska pilots feel overworked and lack the scheduling flexibility that pilots at other airlines do is one of the key problems they face.
Photo cover via Twitter: @iwillbeamyouup