China’s Donghai Airlines has suspended a pilot and a male flight attendant for their roles in a mid-air fistfight with a passenger that started with an argument over a toilet – and ended with the flight attendant suffering a broken arm and the pilot missing a tooth.
The fight began after a passenger ignored instructions to return to their seat during a dispute over the use of a restroom located in the first class section.
Ironically, there was less than an hour remaining in the flight from Nantong to Xian on February 20, according to Chinese media reports, when the pilot exited the cockpit to use the bathroom in first class. A passenger in first class then apparently wished to use the loo, and the pilot asked him to wait in his seat.
The passenger ignored the request, and when the pilot still saw the passenger standing by the bathroom door when he exited, the pilot chided the flight attendant for “not doing his job properly and affecting flying safety.”
One thing led to another, and the verbal jousting turned physical.
The flight attendant was not allowed to return on the same flight. Donghai Airlines issued a statement on Sunday afternoon saying the pair had been suspended from their jobs.
“The company attached high importance to the argument among the crew members during flight and conducted a strict internal verification. Those staff members involved have been suspended their job to ensure flight safety,” the statement said.
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