Altercation between two flight attendants sends United jet back to RDU

bsiceloff@newsobserver.comSeptember 26, 2012 

A United Airlines flight to Chicago returned to Raleigh-Durham International Airport shortly after takeoff Wednesday morning, after an altercation broke out between two flight attendants.

“Our law enforcement team was notified by the tower that the captain had requested law enforcement to meet the aircraft,” said Mindy Hamlin, RDU spokeswoman. “The aircraft had gotten about 50 miles out when he reported a possible assault on the aircraft.”

United Flight 1214, a Boeing 737-800 with 52 passengers, departed for Chicago at 6 a.m. and returned to RDU at 6:40 a.m.

Airport police officers determined that no assault had taken place and no blows were exchanged, Hamlin said. They made no arrests.

“One flight attendant had crossed their leg and accidentally brushed the other person, and it was not intentional,” Hamlin said. “It appears there was a disagreement before that, that became elevated.”

The two attendants were removed from the plane and replaced with other employees. The flight continued to Chicago O’Hare after a three-hour delay.

“No charges were filed, and we will conduct our own internal review, and we of course apologize to our customers,” United spokeswoman Christen David said.

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