Just two weeks after terrifying video of a bloodied United Airlines passenger who was violently kicked off a flight for refusing to give up his seat went viral, another video has emerged showing an American Airlines employee challenging a passenger to hit him after a woman holding a baby was allegedly hit with her stroller in an argument with airline staff.
The video starts with the woman already crying at the front of the airplane, holding a child in her arms and asking for her stroller back. You can hear another upset passenger say he’s “not going to sit here and watch this...” before making his way to the front of the plane to confront the flight attendants and ask for the name of the employee that allegedly hit the crying woman. Another woman, seemingly a passenger, also confronts the airline staff about the situation.
Then a man wearing an American Airlines uniform boards the plane and begins talking to the attendants out of earshot of the camera when he’s confronted by the previous male passenger, who tells the employee, “you do that to me and I’ll knock you flat,” before the employee comes across with his finger pointing, warning the passenger to “stay out of it.”
The male passenger gets out of his seat and approaches the employee, and the employee then challenges the passenger to “Try it. Hit me. You don’t know what the story is.” The passenger replies, “you almost hurt a baby!”
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. What’s going on with these American Carriers???
It’s unfortunately unclear exactly what happened before the video starts, but it is clear from the reactions of the passengers and the crying woman holding the child that there was a serious incident. The video’s poster, named Surain Adyanthaya on the Facebook account, claims the woman was hit by the male employee as he took away her stroller.
Another post on the same Facebook account is an image of the woman, with two children, seemingly being escorted off of the flight. The post claims that she was involuntarily removed and the aggressive employee was allowed back on the flight.
The flight number listed in the Facebook posts is for flight AA 591 from San Francisco, California to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas which departed at 2:18 p.m.—about an hour after its scheduled 1 p.m. departure time.
On April 10, video of a bloodied man went viral after he was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight that was overbooked. As police escorted the passenger off the flight, they broke his nose and knocked out two of his teeth, it was later revealed. United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz then stumbled through a series of tone deaf statements. Prior to that, United Airlines had come under fire for refusing to let two young women board a flight for wearing yoga pants.
It’s not clear what provoked the situation in the video posted above. Here’s the statement American Airlines sent Jalopnik:
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.
If you were on this flight and would like to contribute to this report, please email tips at jalopnik dot com with proof you were on the flight and any further information on the incident seen in the video.
Update, April 22 2:17 a.m. ET: Q13 Fox interviewed other passengers that witnessed the altercation between the American Airlines employee and the mother of two over the stroller:
Olivia Morgan was standing in the doorway of the aircraft with her 8-year-old daughter waiting to board when the altercation happened.
“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,” she said.
Morgan said the flight attendant was “violent” when taking the metal stroller from the woman and nearly hit the baby with the stroller.
“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,” she said.
Morgan said she talked to the woman about the incident. The woman said a female flight attendant told her she could look for space to store the stroller because it folds up very small, but if there was no available space, she would need to check it at the gate.
“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,” she said.
According to the American Airlines website, small strollers can be checked at the gate but there is no policy about strollers in the overhead bin.
According to the Q13 Fox report, the mother refused to let go of the stroller and a flight attendant requested security personnel, then aggressively pulled the stroller from the woman, striking her on the head with it:
Watson said the flight attendant’s tone was “aggressive” and the woman was refusing to let go of the stroller, which escalated the situation.
The flight attendant then responded by jerking the stroller from the woman, knocking her in the head and nearly hitting the children, according to Watson.
“The flight attendant should not have been so aggressive and should have been more aware of the kids,” he said.
The woman was escorted off the plane and the flight attendant returned to the plane a short time later.
“The woman knows not to bring the stroller on a plane, she refused to let it go… she was shouting, so she is also at fault in my opinion,” he said. “But don’t get me wrong, the flight attendant should be way more professional than he was.
This post has been updated to clarify that the woman was allegedly hit with the stroller in the incident that occurred before the video begins.