A dramatic confrontation between an American Airlines employee and a passenger erupted during boarding before a flight from San Francisco to Dallas, including the employee taunting a passenger by saying, “Hit me!”
According to initial reports, the employee allegedly struck a mother carrying a baby with her stroller by accident, narrowly missing the baby. The woman was left in tears, and according to multiple witnesses was not apologized to. The video posted to social media does not include this event, instead showing another passenger’s reaction, which was to leave his seat while pointing his finger and saying, “You do that to me, and I will knock you flat!”
Watch the video here:
— Bradley Blackburn (@BLBlackburn) April 22, 2017
Multiple other videos show the aftermath of the incident.
— ⚡️urain (@surain) April 21, 2017
American Airlines immediately released a statement on the incident, in sharp contrast to United Airlines’ handling of their recent violent removal of a customer from a flight. In the statement, American states that the mother and her family have been booked on another flight with upgraded status, and the employee has been removed from duty.
Here is the text of their statement in full:
American Airlines’ comment on Flight 591
10:30 p.m. CT
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.