In another tense incident on a U.S. plane, an American Airlines employee was captured on video challenging a passenger to “c’mon, hit me” during a showdown on a flight from San Francisco.
American Airlines issued a statement soon after flight 591 landed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Friday, confirming that it was investigating the incident that allegedly happened after a stroller struck a mother in the face. American said it was “deeply sorry” and that the worker has been “removed from duty.”
Passenger Surain Adyanthaya filmed the below video, which begins with a woman seen in the front of the plane, crying while holding a baby. Adyanthaya said on Facebook that the stroller had struck the woman as a flight attendant roughly yanked it away from her while people were boarding. Another traveler can be heard saying in the video, “He smacked her in the face with the stroller.”
“OMG! AA flight attendant violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby on my flight, hitting her and just missing the baby,” Adyanthaya said in the Facebook post. “Then he tried to fight a passenger who stood up for her.”
ABC reported that the mother, who is reportedly Argentinian, may not have understood why her stroller was taken from her.
In the video, which comes less than two weeks after a passenger was dragged off a United Airlines flight, a man and a woman can be seen speaking out on the mom’s behalf as she continues crying and asking for her stroller back.
At one point, a man with an identity badge around his neck, apparently the flight attendant who had taken the stroller, reenters the plane and speaks to the pilot standing by. Then the male passenger jumps up from his seat and points angrily at the airline employee, saying, “Hey, bud, you do that to me and I’ll knock you flat.”
“Try it,” the worker aggressively says on the video. “Hit me. C’mon, hit me. C’mon, bring it on. You don’t know what the story is.”
The pilot and the flight attendant are both touching the man, holding him back.
“I don’t care what the story is,” the passenger responds. “You almost hurt a baby!”
The woman and her children were escorted off the plane, according to Adyanthaya.
American Airlines said in its statement that officials had launched the investigation after seeing the video, which “does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers.”
Officials offered no other details about what happened, but the airline apologized to the passenger and her family. American placed them on another flight in first class and the company was “taking special care of her and her family,” the statement said.
You can read American’s full statement below:
“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.”