Last updated: 05:18 PM ET, Tue September 22 2015

'Disagreement' Between Pilots Prompts United Express Flight Delay

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | September 22, 2015

'Disagreement' Between Pilots Prompts United Express Flight Delay

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Every day, flights across the U.S. are delayed for a variety of different reasons, some more manageable than others. But here's one that's likely to surprise. 

A United Express flight was delayed five hours at Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday following a quarrel between the flight's pilots, the airline announced via David Koenig of the Associated Press.

Flight 4453 was scheduled to fly 500-plus miles from Lubbock to Houston Saturday but was "delayed due to crew availability," ExpressJet spokesman Jarek Beem told the AP. "There was a disagreement among crew members. There was no fight...there was no physical altercation thankfully."

Beem said that the carrier is currently investigating the incident that led to the delay, but was unsure whether the original crew would face any punishment.

The flight eventually departed for Houston Saturday night after a new crew was flown in.

A spokeswoman for United Airlines told the AP that the airline wanted to join ExpressJet in apologizing to affected passengers, but didn't offer additional comment on the situation. 

The pilots in question flew the plane from Houston to Lubbock and were supposed to fly the return flight following a 30-minute stop. But the stop wound up lasting several hours after the plane landed in Lubbock approximately an hour late. 

In addition to the late arrival, a mechanical issue with the aircraft is said to have preceded the disagreement. 

Georgia-based regional carrier ExpressJet employs its own pilots, but operates roughly 1,500 daily domestic flights under contract with major airlines as United Express, American Eagle and Delta Connection.

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