In the latest airline customer-abuse incident to potentially draw national outrage, video surfaced Friday of a crying mother with two children and the aftermath of an incident that allegedly involved a male flight attendant getting rough with his handling of the woman's stroller, striking her with it and nearly missing one of the children. This all happened on an American Airlines flight bound from SFO to Dallas/Fort Worth, and the man who posted the video claimed that the woman was involuntarily removed from the flight with her children while the flight attendant remained onboard.
Facebook user Surain Adyanthaya, who was on board the flight, posted video of the incident which has already been viewed more than two million times. He described the incident thusly: "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."
The video shows the aftermath of whatever occurred, and as ABC 7 reports, the woman, who is from Argentina, possibly did not understand why she couldn't keep the stroller on board, or why the flight attendant had to take it from her presumably to have it gate-checked and stowed. She is heard and seen crying, holding one of her two twins, and saying something to the effect of "You can't get violent with baby just give me back my stroller please."
A male passenger seated in first class can then be seen getting up twice to express his outrage and get aggressive with the flight attendant, who in turn yells "You stay out of this!" and appears to challenge the man to a fight.
The photo below appears to show the woman speaking with the captain before the video begins. TMZ reports that the woman had ignored a request by flight attendants to leave the double-wide stroller on the jet bridge and had attempted to keep it with her on the flight.
USA Today and others have picked up the story because of all the national outrage that was sparked by United Airlines' treatment of David Dao last week, and American Airlines has been quick to put out a statement condemning the flight attendant's actions.
Reuters confirms that the flight attendant has been suspended.
The statement from American Airlines:
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. 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.