Less than two weeks since a video of a bloodied passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight ignited international concern about the airline industry’s fair treatment of revenue passengers, yet another on-board incident captured on video is alarming – it has resulted in the immediate grounding of the involved flight attendant according to a company statement.
A video posted to Facebook by Surain Adyanthaya, a passenger on-board American Airlines flight 591, from San Francisco to Dallas, shows an intense confrontation between a crew member and at least two passengers at the front of the aircraft in San Francisco.
OMG! AA Flight attendant violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby on my flight, hitting her and just missing the baby. Then he tried to fight a passenger who stood up for her. AA591 from SFO to DFW.
Geplaatst door Surain Adyanthaya op vrijdag 21 april 2017
AA 591 / Video by Surain Adyanthaya
The heated moment began when the 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 male flight attendant “violently took the stroller,” hitting her and just missing her young child, according to an eye witness on the flight.
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!” and continues to provoke the passengers saying “Hit me! Come on, hit me!”.
Another passenger on the flight, Olivia Morgan, told Tribune Media that she was waiting to board the plane with her son when she witnessed the flight attendant take a baby stroller away from the woman in a “violent” manner, nearly hitting the baby.
“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 the news group. “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!’ just like he does in the video.”
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 response
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.
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.”
Source: ABC News Video credit : Surain Adyanthaya / Facebook Cover photo : Surain Adyanthaya / Facebook video screen capture