American Airlines on Saturday apologized to a female passenger and suspended an employee after a video showing an onboard clash over a baby stroller went viral, in the latest embarrassment for a U.S. carrier over how it treated a customer.
The clip, posted to Facebook on Friday by a bystander on the flight, shows a woman in tears with a young child in her arms, and a man emerging from his seat to confront a male flight attendant.
Facebook user Surain Adyanthaya, who put the video on his page, said in his post that the flight attendant had forcefully taken the stroller from the woman, hitting her with it and just missing her child.
“You do that to me, and I’ll knock you flat,” the unidentified man tells the flight attendant.
The crew member then points his finger angrily and challenges the passenger to hit him. The video shows the man eventually returning to his seat.
American Airlines said in a statement it was investigating the incident, which took place before the plane took off on a flight from San Francisco to Dallas.
“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 airline said in a statement released early Saturday.
The woman elected to take another flight and was upgraded to first class, the airline said.
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 airline said.
A statement from the Association of Professional Flight Attendants stressed that all passengers deserve to be treated with respect, but warned against rushing to judgment before the full facts were known
Less than two weeks ago, United Airlines found itself in a public relations nightmare when a video appeared online showing a 69-year-old doctor being dragged off one of its flights to make room for a crew member, sparking international outrage and policy changes by the airline.