Flight Attendants Fight on American Airlines

Flight attendants' disagreement leaves passengers stranded for hours.
3:00 | 09/20/12

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Transcript for Flight Attendants Fight on American Airlines
And, now, to this day of troubles for american airlines. It has been plagued with delays and hundreds of cancellations, amid a labor dispute. There are even reports that a lot of pilots are calling in sick and add to that, a strange incident. Two flight attendants began arguing and took it to the intercom. Abc's senior national correspondent jim avila has the story. Reporter: At new york air port, more american airlines delays today. But nothing like the four hours passengers suffered through when two flight attendants, reportedly argued about a cell phone. One, taking to the p.A. And ordering all cell phones off, saying, according to reports, including the other flight attendant. The dispute forced the captain to turn back from the jfk runway and change crews. Today, american's fight is all labor related, delaying nearly 40% of their flights. Most forced late or even canceled by an unprecedented and very significant increase in maintenance issues. Abc news correspondent martha raddatz experienced the problem firsthand. We go out to the runway to take off and the pilot comes on and says, sorry, we have a mechanical problem. Reporter: Abc news has learned the faa is concerned enough to have stepped up scrutiny of american during its bankruptcy. So far, no indication safety has been compromised, but federal monitors are making more ramp checks and flyalongs with pilots to make sure. Today's flights were punctual only 64% of the time. Normal for september is 82%. American blames pilots who they say are calling in sick 20% more than normal and overreporting mans innocent issue, leading to 547 delays today, compared to 100 on a normal day. The pilots union says there is no sanctioned work action under way. My advice is, until things get straightened out with the operation, if you have a choice, you ought to book at ire airline. Reporter: The question for american is, even if it survives bankruptcy, can it survive fighting crews and the damaged customer confidence left behind? Jim avila, abc news, washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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