Passengers “slapped” with delay after incident

In what is the latest episode and perhaps one of the most bizarre ones of ‘What is Aerolineas Argentinas in the news for today?’, news broke out this morning that at least 3 flights were cancelled and 10 others were delayed, although local newspapers are now reporting operations are going back to normal.

The reason? A passenger who was late for his flight attempted to check-in today at 6:18am for a flight departing Aeroparque Jorge Newberry airport (Buenos Aires domestic airport, and second largest in the country). He was informed his flight had already closed and he wouldn’t be able to board, and after arguing with the check-in counter employee and obtaining no positive response, he then proceeded to slap him across the face.

Non-factual reenactment...

Non-factual reenactment…

As per Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, who is responsible for running the airport, and in accordance with existing protocols, all Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral check-in counter employees walked out of their positions to protest the incident, leaving all their counters unmanned for what they announce would be a 2 hour walk-out. At about 9am, senior personnel from other areas replaced employees in 3 check-in counters in an attempt to help people get their bags checked and normalize operations.

Passengers napping in Check-in area, from Telam news agency

Passengers napping in Check-in area, from Telam news agency

Aeroparque had already been experiencing several delays since last night and into this morning due to heavy fog, which is not unusual given where the airport is located on the river bank. However, the fog dissipated and most flights were back on schedule except those operated by Aerolineas Argentinas and its subsidiary Austral.

Airport police intervened in the incident, and after assuring Aerolineas’ employees that their safety was taken care of, all check-in employees returned to their posts, as Felicitas Castrillon, PR Manager for Aerolineas Argentinas informed Argentina national news agency, Telam. The passenger has been reported to be in the custody of airport police, but it is unclear what charges, if any, would be pressed.

Author: Ben Nickel-D'Andrea

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