American Airlines has apologized for the incident in which an airline employee, a flight attendant, was captured on video in an altercation with a passenger aboard one of its flights. The airline management said it has seen the video filmed by another passenger on Friday and that it was investigating. The statement added that the flight attendant has been “removed from duty” and that the female passenger involved in the incident was upgraded to first class.
The airline said that the behavior of the employee captured on video did not reflect the values of the airline and said it was sorry for any pain caused by the actions of the employee, according to CNN.
“We have seen the video and have already started an investigation to obtain the facts,” the airline said in a statement. “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 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 airline added.
The video filmed on Friday by a witness on board the American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Dallas shows a woman sobbing.
“Just give me back my stroller, please,” the woman holding an infant, said.
A male passenger approached the flight attendant.
“Hey bud, hey bud. You do that to me, and I’ll knock you flat,” the passenger, who appeared to be upset about the way that the flight attendant was treating the woman, said.
The flight attendant snapped at the male passenger, warning him to stay out of the matter. Then, he said tauntingly, “Hit me, hit me… bring it on.”
A passenger, Surain Adyanthaya, who posted the video to Facebook on Friday, explained that the footage started after the flight attendant had snatched a stroller from the woman and hit her with it, missing her baby narrowly.
According to Adyanthaya, the airline removed the woman and her baby from the flight, but allowed the flight attendant back on.
Another witness, Olivia Morgan, said the flight attendant “wrestled the stroller away” from the sobbing woman who held one baby in her arm and had another in a car seat on the ground.
“The flight attendant wrestled the stroller away from the woman, who was sobbing, holding one baby with the second baby in a car seat on the ground next to her,” Morgan told KTLA-TV. “He stormed by me with the stroller and I said something like, “What are you doing? You almost hit that baby!” And he yelled at me to ‘stay out of it!'”
However, information on the American Airlines website indicated that passengers are allowed to carry small strollers, but they must be checked at the gate. Larger strollers have to be checked at the ticker counter.
The incident and the apology by American Airlines come after a passenger, Dr. David Dao, was pulled out of his seat and dragged off a United Airline flight from Chicago to Louisville earlier in the month. Footage taken by passengers showed Dao, a medical practitioner, bleeding from the mouth after security officers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport threw him out of the flight.
Dao, 69, reportedly suffered a concussion and a broken nose. He lost two teeth due to the physical assault he suffered.
The incident sparked a public uproar, with many threatening on social media to boycott United Airlines. Many also demanded the resignation of airline CEO Oscar Munoz.
Munoz came under fire after he tried to blame the passenger and defended the airline staff involved in the disturbing incident.
Dao’s legal team later said he was planning to sue United Airlines.
[Featured Image by Art Konovalov/Shutterstock]