American Airlines suspended a flight attendant after he was seen arguing with passengers in an tense disagreement over a woman’s stroller in a Facebook video posted on Friday, April 21.
The two-and-a-half-minute clip, which was filmed by another passenger named Surain Adyanthaya, shows an unidentified woman wiping away tears and holding her baby while begging crew members to “just give me back my stroller please.” The video, which has since garnered more than 2 million views, shows the aftermath but not the alleged incident.
“OMG! AA Flight attendant violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby on my flight, hitting her and just missing the baby,” Adyanthaya captioned her post. “Then he tried to fight a passenger who stood up for her. AA591 from SFO to DFW.”
Toward the end of the video, a male passenger approaches the flight attendant, apparently upset about his alleged actions. He tells the employee, “Hey, bud, you do that to me, and I’ll knock you flat.” The flight attendant then taunts the passenger, saying, “Hit me. Hit me. C’mon, bring it on,” as other members of the crew pull him away from the situation.
WFAA-TV reported that the altercation, which occurred aboard a flight from San Francisco International Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, began as the female passenger was trying to store her daughter’s stroller in an overhead bin. American Airlines’ website says customers can carry small, collapsible strollers, but they must be checked at the gate; larger strollers are required to be checked in at the ticket counter.
The airline quickly responded to the incident with a statement posted on Friday night. “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 statement reads. “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 actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care,” the statement continues. “In short, we are disappointed by these actions. The American team member has been removed from duty while we immediately investigate this incident.”
Earlier this month, United Airlines made headlines after security guards forcibly removed a passenger from an overbooked flight. The video of the incident sparked public outrage and immediately went viral.