Uh, A Plane Just Broke Another Plane's Wing

What isn't great about traveling at Christmas? The two-mile lines for airport security, kids wailing through twelve-hour flights, snow and frost and ice delaying takeoff... oh, and planes clipping one another's wings in their rush to leave the airport. On Tuesday morning at New York's LaGuardia Airport, two planes clipped wings on the runway (thank God, not while at 40,000 feet), breaking off part of one plane's wing and scaring the hell out of everybody. No injuries were reported.

In a statement, Southwest Airlines, whose plane was damaged when it clipped an American Airlines' flight's wing, said:

The wingtip of the aircraft operating Southwest Airlines Flight #449 departing from New York LaGuardia to Denver came in contact with another aircraft that was awaiting a gate. The 143 customers onboard Flight 449 deplaned the aircraft via air stairs and were bussed to the terminal where our Teams are working to get them to their destinations. The aircraft involved has been taken out of service for inspection and repairs.

"Came in contact" is one way of putting it, yeah. From American Airlines:

American Airlines Flight 1104 was taxiing to its gate at LaGuardia Airport when its left horizontal stabilizer and the winglet of a moving Southwest Airlines 737 made contact.

So who bumped into whom, exactly? Well, judging from these statements, it all seems pretty civilized — neither airline shrieking "YOU BROKE MY BOEING!" at the other — but passengers were presumably a bit rattled, because it's never a good thing when your plane begins breaking apart, whether on the runway or during a flight.

Image: Twitter/James Aydelott