American Airlines’ Swift Apology Praised In Contrast To The ‘Re-accommodation’ Of Dr. Dao By United

Shocking video footage has emerged depicting a male American Airlines attendant challenging another passenger to a fight after the attendant allegedly hit a mother in the head with her children’s metal baby stroller. The woman was holding her crying baby. The incident occurred at San Francisco International Airport on Flight 591 and showed the American Airline staff member goading a seated passenger and saying, “hit me!” according to the Daily Mail. American Airlines issued an apology within four hours of the incident.

“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. After electing to take another flight, we are taking special care of her and her family and upgrading them to first class for the remainder of their international trip.”


The staff member responded by pointing his finger at the man told him, “You stay out of this.” The male passenger then steps closer to the employee, who challenges him to a fight. “Try it!”

The employee [American Airlines] tells the customer, “Hit me. You don’t know what the story is.” The male passenger proclaimed in defense of the woman, “You almost hurt a baby!”

Many are still reeling from watching footage of Dr. David Dao being dragged from his seat on a United Airlines flight. However, many have already noticed the difference in how American Airlines handled their incident in contrast to how United Airlines has handled their incident involving Dr. David Dao. Many said this could be a case study for classes in personal relations and customer service.

Cellphone videos captured the disturbing incident, which prompted public outrage.


Tom Watson, a first-class passenger on American Airlines flight, said he saw the incident with the woman and her babies. He said that the female passenger responded aggressively to the flight attendant’s demand to take the stroller from her.

Watson added that the stroller hit the woman in the head and almost hit the kids.

“The woman knows not to bring the stroller on a plane, she refused to let it go – she was shouting, so she is also at fault in my opinion… But don’t get me wrong, the flight attendant should be way more professional than he was.”

Another passenger, a woman, also confronted an American Airlines employee about the situation. The situation escalates further when a man in an American Airlines uniform boards the plane. The male passenger who stood from his seat to intervene then confronts the uniformed employee.

“You do that to me and I’ll knock you flat.”


American spokeswoman Leslie Scott said the American Airlines passenger and the two children made a later flight to Dallas, according to Forbes. They were able to connect to Buenos Aires on their originally scheduled flight. The woman and her two children traveled in first class on both flights.

United Airlines Slow To Respond To Dr. Dao Incident

American Airlines took cues from the backlash United Airlines received when Dr. Dao, 69, of Kentucky, was violently dragged off a United Airlines flight by Chicago Aviation Department security officers.


Many across social media are now comparing the two airline giants and the way they handle customers and respond to public outcry after the upsetting footage was released. Within hours, American Airline issued an apology minutes after the airplane landed in Dallas.

“We have seen the video and have already started an investigation to obtain the facts. What we see on this video does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers… 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.”

American Airlines and United Airlines' comparison
A United Airlines Boeing 747 jets dwarfs a much smaller American Airlines jet upon take-off at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). [Image by David McNew/Getty Images]

Dao is a 69-year-old doctor who immigrated to the United States from Vietnam. It has been reported that the airline officials discriminated against him for being Chinese before he was hauled off the plane, according to a fellow passenger. Dao’s lawyer suggested that maybe Dr. Dao is the person to revolutionize the relationship that needs to be changed between airlines and customers.

“For a long time, airlines – United in particular – have bullied us.”


Dr. David Dao’s attorney said his client had suffered a broken nose, a concussion, and lost two front teeth in the altercation with airport security. Dao would likely sue the United Airlines to prevent incidents like this from happening in the future.

Participants in a Morning Consult poll were asked to pick a United or American Airlines flight between New York and Chicago. At the time of the poll, 79 percent chose an American Airlines flight instead of United Airlines following news of the Dr. Dao incident.


Popovich is the president of Sage-Popovich Inc. The company began performing repossessions of commercial aircraft in 1979. The company, based in Valparaiso, was featured a few years ago in the Discovery Channel reality show Airplane Repo.

“Air service is not what it once was, we all agree on that… There are many reasons for that. Sad to say, the glory days of aviation are behind us.”

[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]