|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : rsw|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 35000|
msl bound upper : 35000
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 154|
flight time total : 5681
flight time type : 500
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
The lead flight attendant phoned the cockpit and informed us that there was a dispute between 2 passenger. After a short discussion between the flight attendant on the phone, she came to the cockpit. She said the situation was getting worse and she requested one of us to come back and talk to the passenger. The captain asked if I wanted to go back or if I wanted him to go back. I said I would go back. Just in case something happened, he would be able to fly the aircraft. I then asked about his thoughts on pilots leaving the flight deck, except for physiological reasons -- per FARS. He responded that it wouldn't be a problem and there was no need to declare an emergency. Therefore, I went back and spoke to the passenger involved. The situation arose from a passenger sitting directly forward of the other reclining his seat and nearly tipping over a drink on the tray table. The 'rear' passenger was trying to start a physical altercation. I made it clear that if a physical altercation occurred the aircraft would be landed at the nearest suitable airport and the auths would be standing by. With the situation under control, I returned to the flight deck. In talking to the lead flight attendant we discovered that the 'rear' passenger had stopped her during her cabin service and demanded her to make the 'forward' passenger stop reclining his seat. She told the passenger that if he 'interfered' with her duties she could have him arrested. This is when tempers began to flare. I believe that if the flight attendant had attempted to manage the situation instead of being 'heavy handed' the entire situation may have been averted. We continued the flight without further incident.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A DC9 IN CRUISE AT FL350 HAD THE FO LEAVE THE COCKPIT TO RESOLVE A PAX DISPUTE.
Narrative: THE LEAD FLT ATTENDANT PHONED THE COCKPIT AND INFORMED US THAT THERE WAS A DISPUTE BTWN 2 PAX. AFTER A SHORT DISCUSSION BTWN THE FLT ATTENDANT ON THE PHONE, SHE CAME TO THE COCKPIT. SHE SAID THE SIT WAS GETTING WORSE AND SHE REQUESTED ONE OF US TO COME BACK AND TALK TO THE PAX. THE CAPT ASKED IF I WANTED TO GO BACK OR IF I WANTED HIM TO GO BACK. I SAID I WOULD GO BACK. JUST IN CASE SOMETHING HAPPENED, HE WOULD BE ABLE TO FLY THE ACFT. I THEN ASKED ABOUT HIS THOUGHTS ON PLTS LEAVING THE FLT DECK, EXCEPT FOR PHYSIOLOGICAL REASONS -- PER FARS. HE RESPONDED THAT IT WOULDN'T BE A PROB AND THERE WAS NO NEED TO DECLARE AN EMER. THEREFORE, I WENT BACK AND SPOKE TO THE PAX INVOLVED. THE SIT AROSE FROM A PAX SITTING DIRECTLY FORWARD OF THE OTHER RECLINING HIS SEAT AND NEARLY TIPPING OVER A DRINK ON THE TRAY TABLE. THE 'REAR' PAX WAS TRYING TO START A PHYSICAL ALTERCATION. I MADE IT CLR THAT IF A PHYSICAL ALTERCATION OCCURRED THE ACFT WOULD BE LANDED AT THE NEAREST SUITABLE ARPT AND THE AUTHS WOULD BE STANDING BY. WITH THE SIT UNDER CTL, I RETURNED TO THE FLT DECK. IN TALKING TO THE LEAD FLT ATTENDANT WE DISCOVERED THAT THE 'REAR' PAX HAD STOPPED HER DURING HER CABIN SVC AND DEMANDED HER TO MAKE THE 'FORWARD' PAX STOP RECLINING HIS SEAT. SHE TOLD THE PAX THAT IF HE 'INTERFERED' WITH HER DUTIES SHE COULD HAVE HIM ARRESTED. THIS IS WHEN TEMPERS BEGAN TO FLARE. I BELIEVE THAT IF THE FLT ATTENDANT HAD ATTEMPTED TO MANAGE THE SIT INSTEAD OF BEING 'HVY HANDED' THE ENTIRE SIT MAY HAVE BEEN AVERTED. WE CONTINUED THE FLT WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.