Update: The mother has contacted the attorney who is representing that United passenger who was dragged off the plane. The attorney also confirmed that the woman was not hit in the head. Full updated details here.
As heard in the aftermath video, the flight attendant accused of hitting a mother in the head with a stroller while she holds her twin babies, tells a passenger sticking up for her “you don’t know what the story is”. Well, we may soon find out! One British tabloid is reporting that a passenger they spoke with claims that someone was filming their son walking up to see the cockpit when the commotion broke out. They are reaching out to try and obtain that video.
American says that the flight attendant has been removed from duty after he aggressively challenged a passenger to a fight, literally yelling “hit me”. It all happened aboard AA flight 591 from San Francisco (SFO) to Dallas (DFW).
YouTube video captured by passenger Surain Adyanthaya shows the aftermath of the incident. He told the Daily Mail that he started filming after 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.”
Apparently, the mother traveling back to Argentina was told she could bring the stroller on board if she could find overhead bin space. If not, she was told she’d have to gate check it. Supposedly, the flight attendant didn’t even give her time to find space and immediately asked her to hand over the stroller. According to other passengers, she was vocal and aggressive in not handing it over until she thoroughly looked for space. That’s when the flight attendant apparently forcefully removed the stroller from her hands, whacking her in the head in the process.
A passenger at the front of the plane further detailed the situation:
“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. But that wasn’t good enough for the man, she 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.”
Like the United incident, passengers were vocal with their disgust for the situation and one passenger got out of his seat to ask for the flight attendant’s name. That’s when he was challenged to a fight by the American employee.
American released a statement within two hours of the incident:
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.