Story at a glance
- USA Today reports a Southwest Airlines pilot and flight attendant were involved in an altercation at a hotel bar in San Jose, Calif., last month.
- The pilot was cited for assault and battery.
- The airline put the pilot on leave while the incident is under investigation.
A Southwest Airlines pilot was cited for assault and battery following an alleged fight with a flight attendant at a California hotel over a disagreement on COVID-19 masks, according to USA Today.
The outlet reports the altercation occurred at a hotel bar in San Jose, Calif., last month where the crew was spending the night after a flight.
“The event involved a disagreement over mask wearing or masks,” Sgt. Christian Camarillo, a public information officer for the San Jose Police Department, told USA Today.
The official declined to provide additional details on what led up to the dispute. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is reportedly reviewing the case for potential charges.
The airline put the pilot on leave while the incident is under investigation.
Days after the dispute, Southwest executives sent a memo to pilots and flight attendants saying “Being off-duty is never an excuse to ignore the Golden Rule.”
“We realize there has been a steady drumbeat over the last 19 months about civility and respectful discourse — and that is for good reason. Many of our people have been faced with an uncomfortable situation where their beliefs are not shared by someone else, resulting in a confrontation of some kind,” the memo reportedly said.
“And for every situation we hear about, there are dozens more for which we don’t. It is vital that we treat everyone with respect and honor our differences without pushing our ideals on someone else,” the memo said.
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