American Airlines Flight Attendant Put on Leave After Clash With Passengers Captured on Video

It’s been less than two weeks since a video of a bloodied passenger being dragged off a United Airlines aircraft ignited a national discussion about the airline industry’s treatment of passengers, and now, yet another onboard incident captured on video is raising eyebrows and it’s resulted in the immediate grounding of a flight attendant.

A video posted to Facebook on Friday by Surain Adyanthaya a passenger onboard American Airlines flight 591, from San Francisco to Dallas shows an intense confrontation between a flight attendant and at least two passengers at the front of the aircraft while it is still on the tarmac in San Francisco.

The heated moment began when a flight attendant took away a stroller from a female passenger, Adyanthaya told ABC affiliate WFAA in Dallas, which reported that the woman was from Argentina and traveling with her two children.

The nearly three-minute video starts with the woman crying and asking the flight attendant to give her back the stroller.

The incident appears to escalate when a male passenger comes to the woman’s defense, saying to the flight attendant, “Hey bud, hey bud, you do that to me and I’ll knock you flat!”

The flight attendant, who is visibly angry, points his finger at the passenger and says, “Hey, you stay out of this!”

A pilot appears to attempt to calm down the flight attendant.

During the entire video, the female passenger continues to be heard crying.

American Airlines responded publicly to the incident shortly after the video began to circulate online, announcing in a statement that the flight attendant had been put on leave while the incident was investigated and that the woman and her family were upgraded to first-class for the remainder of their international trip.

An American Airlines spokesperson told ABC News that the woman passenger brought a double-wide stroller onto a single-aisle plane.

The airlines’ rules for passengers traveling with children say strollers should be checked at the gate.

The airline spokesperson told ABC News that when the passenger tried to jam the stroller down the plane aisle, a flight attendant tried to tell her she needed to gate-check it.

The woman began to cry, after which another passenger got involved, and the situation escalated from there, according to the airline spokesperson.

The spokesperson said the flight attendant should not have become confrontational with any passenger.

The on-board altercation comes less than two weeks after a video of a bloodied passenger being dragged off a United Airlines aircraft ignited a national discussion about the airline industry’s treatment of its ticketed customers.

American Airlines in its statement said, “What we see on this video does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers. We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident.”

The statement continued, “The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care. In short, we are disappointed by these actions.

The American team member has been removed from duty while we immediately investigate this incident.”

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    American Airlines has suspended an employee after a video showed an altercation on one of its planes involving crew, several passengers and a crying woman carrying a young child.

    An American Airlines employee violently took a stroller from the woman, hitting her with it and just missing her child, Facebook user Surain Adyanthaya said in a post accompanying the video he put on the site on Friday.

    Less than two weeks ago, a 69-year-old doctor, David Dao, was hospitalized after Chicago aviation police dragged him from a United Airlines plane sparking international outrage and a public relations nightmare for the carrier.

    American Airlines was investigating Friday’s incident, which happened on Flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas before the plane took off, Leslie Scott, an airline spokeswoman said.

    The incident started over a dispute as to whether the woman could bring her stroller on the flight, Scott said.

    Witnesses said the male flight attendant told the woman she could not keep the stroller at her seat in the rear of the plane, Tribune Media reported. They said she was trying to find space for it when the initial incident occurred, it said.

    Adyanthaya did not respond to a request for comment.

    In his video, the woman with the child can be heard asking flight attendants for the stroller. A male passenger then walks towards the front of the plane and demands from the airline crew the name of the employee who took the stroller before he returns to his seat.

    Moments later, another American employee, who Scott said was a flight attendant, enters the plane and the male passenger confronts him.

    “You do that to me and I’ll knock you flat,” the passenger can be heard saying to the flight attendant.

    The two then confront each other in the aisle of the plane and the employee can be heard challenging the passenger to hit him. The passenger eventually returns to his seat and the flight attendant leaves the plane.

    “We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident,” the airline said in a statement late on Friday.

    The woman and her family were being upgraded to first class for the remainder of their international trip, it said.

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