American Airlines said in a statement Friday night that it had “removed from duty” a male team member accused by a passenger of “violently” taking away a baby stroller from a mother, hitting the mother with the stroller and narrowly missing her small child.
A 2-minute, 40-second video by passenger Surain Adyanthaya posted on Facebook shows the young woman holding a child and sobbing at the front of the plane as passengers are boarding flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport on Friday.
The video doesn’t show the team member taking away the stroller. The crying woman is heard saying, “You can’t use violence with baby.”
Shown in the video is the team member angrily confronting a male passenger who moves up the aisle a few rows to come to the mom’s aid.
With the woman sobbing, the male passenger tells the team member, “You do that to me and I’ll knock you flat.”
The worker orders the man to “stay out of it,” according to a Buzzfeed report, and then tells the male passenger, “Hit me, come on and hit me.”
The worker says, “You don’t know the story.” The male passenger replies, “I don’t care what the story is, you don’t do that to a baby.”
The post on Adyanthaya’s Facebook page says, “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.”
American issued a statement at 10:30 p.m. Friday:
“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. 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 the incident.”
The altercation comes less than two weeks after United Airlines came under a barrage of criticism in how it responded to an incident where a passenger on an overbooked flight was dragged off a United plane.