Aviation

American Airlines slammed for “hitting” passenger

Hannah Edensor

Hannah Edensor

It’s another case of an airline coming under fire for poor passenger treatment, but this time it was United’s competitor American Airlines.

According to the New York Post, a woman was removed from a flight after a flight attendant allegedly yanked her own baby’s stroller away from her, almost hitting the baby in the head and whacking the woman.

The incident was captured on video, showing the mother crying before the plane, stationed at a gate in San Francisco’s International Airport, was scheduled to take off.

Fellow passenger, Surain Adyanthaya, posted it online with the caption, “OMG. Flight attendant violently took a stroller from a lady with a baby on my flight, hitting her and just missing the baby. Then he tried to fight a passenger who stood up for her.’’

The clip shows another male passenger coming to the woman’s defence, saying, “You do that to me and I’ll knock you flat. You almost hurt a baby.’’

The flight attendant then replied, “Try it, hit me. Come on, bring it on.”

“You almost hurt a baby,” the man says. “Maybe you’ll get videotaped, too, and get all over the news.”

The incident is a bit of a messy one, though, with some reports claiming the man coming to the woman’s aid actually didn’t see what happened before getting involved, and that the woman persisted with bringing her oversized stroller for her twins on the plane.

The video, therefore, captures the escalated incident, although it still doesn’t look good for the flight attendant.

Strollers are not permitted in airplane cabins, and are typically checked at the gate so they can be used after parents check-in.

Speaking to the New York Times in a phone interview, another passenger Olivia Morgan claimed, “He jerked it away from her and almost hit the baby in the head”.

Morgan claimed after she complained about the woman’s treatment, the attendant shouted at her.

“He yells at me with his finger in my face, ‘You stay out of it!’” she said. “Full rage.”

But American responded swiftly, given the backlash United faced after its poor handling and weak apologies after dragging a man off his flight.

The flight attendant in question has since been suspended, per the New York Times, while an investigation takes place.

The airline also issued a statement saying, “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.”

“We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected,” the airline said in its statement.

The woman and her 15-month-old twins were apparently escorted off the plane and put on a different flight, from which they caught a connecting international flight. The airline said it had upgraded the family to first-class seats for the rest of their trip.

The plane left the airport more than an hour after its scheduled departure time because of the episode, the company said.


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