You would think the recent video of a United Airlines passenger being roughed up would put other flight crews at other airlines on notice to watch their behavior. American Airlines, somehow, missed the warning.
A new American Airlines video going viral online shows what appears to be an altercation between a flight attendant and a mother. The flight attendant is accused of taking a stroller from a mother and her two babies, and the striking her with it. However, questions have been raised as to whether the video tells the whole story
Part of the incident was captured on video by Surain Adyanthaya, who was on a flight from San Francisco to Dallas. In the video, a woman holding a child can be seen weeping. A male flight attendant, who reportedly was involved in the altercation, is then seen arguing with another passenger upset with how he handled the situation. The passenger tells the attendant that “I’ll knock you flat” if he tries to treat him that way. The flight attendant responds by taunting the passenger to hit him and cursing.
OMG! AA Flight attendant violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby on my flight, hitting her and just missing the baby. Then he tried to fight a passenger who stood up for her. AA591 from SFO to DFW.
They just in-voluntarily escorted the mother and her kids off the flight and let the flight attendant back on, who tried to fight a passenger.
It has now been reported that the flight attendant has been suspended while an investigation is underway.
While it should be noted that public opinion has been largely against the flight attendant, in all fairness, the video does not show the full incident. Many frequent fliers note that airlines have strict rules regarding strollers and where they need to be stored.
If the mother was being disagreeable, the flight attendant could have been left with no choice but to take the stroller from her. “Striking” her with the stroller, as has been suggested, could have been a mistake that is being overblown. One must also consider that the mother is being over-dramatic after the argument ensued, just to elicit sympathy.
What the video does make clear is that the flight attendant handles the escalating situation poorly. Rather than try to diffuse the tension, he matches the anger of the other passenger. That doesn’t help his cause that he handled the unseen part of the confrontation any better.
After the video went viral, American Airlines condemned the incident and promised to open an investigation.
“What we see on this video does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers,” American Airlines said in a released statement. “We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident. We are making sure all of her family’s needs are being met while she is in our care.”
“The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care,” the statement added. “In short, we are disappointed by these actions. The American team member has been removed from duty while we immediately investigate this incident.”
American Airlines added that they took “special care” of the woman and her family, and upgraded them to “first class for the remainder of their international trip.”
Here is the video below.