Just as the public relations nightmare experienced by United Airlines began to fade in the short-lived memory of American travelers, a new video has surfaced. In this one, an American Airlines employee allegedly hit a woman in the head with a stroller. When another passenger steps up to defender the woman, the flight attendant challenges him to a fight.
[Scroll Down for Video]
Flight 591 departed from San Francisco Friday afternoon. Before it took off, a woman boarded with a stroller. Witnesses say that she’d been given permission to bring it aboard. When another staff member saw her with it, he took it from her. In what may have been an accident, the stroller hit the woman in the head and almost struck her twin infants.
Surain Adyanthaya, a passenger on the flight, recorded the video below. She said that the flight attendant “violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby on my flight, hitting her and just missing the baby.”
“They just involuntarily escorted the mother and her kids off the flight and let the flight attendant back on, who tried to fight other passengers. The mom asked for an apology and the AA official declined.”
As the woman who had been struck with the stroller stood and cried, another passenger rose to her defense and asked for the name of the man who struck her.
Olivia Morgan, another passenger, was there with her 8 year old daughter, right beside the passenger who was struck with the stroller.
“She was looking for space when the male attendant tried to take it away from her… and she said she told him the other attendant had told her it was okay to look,” Morgan said.
“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,” she said.
Then it escalated quickly. The man who had asked for the name of the man stood up again when the other man came back onto the plane.
“You do that to me and I’ll knock you flat,” the passenger said to the American Airlines employee.
“Try it,” he responded. The attendant moved toward the passenger and puffed up for a fight. “Hit me.”
As the pilot and other employees broke up the altercation, the original passenger was escorted off the plane. The man who hit her was not.
American Airlines, perhaps having studied what happened at United two weeks ago, issued this 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.”
“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.”
“In short, we are disappointed by these actions. The American team member has been removed from duty while we immediately investigate this incident.”
Here’s the man of the hour himself.