American Airlines suspended a flight attendant after an altercation on Friday in which the attendant took a stroller from a woman traveling with two young children and then argued with other passengers. The episode was captured, in part, on video.
The encounter, at San Francisco International Airport, occurred while the woman was boarding a Texas-bound flight. The attendant, whose name was not released by the airline, grabbed the stroller from the woman, who was carrying 15-month-old twins, a passenger who was nearby said.
A video that circulated on social media showed the attendant nearly coming to blows with another passenger who threatened him after the altercation with the woman.
“What we see on this video does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers,” the airline said in a statement. “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.”
Coming after airport police officers were filmed violently dragging a passenger off a United Airlines flight in Chicago, the episode on the American flight comes at a charged time for the airline industry, which has had to cope with a series of events that have ruffled public opinion after being recorded on video and circulated.
American’s relatively quick suspension of the attendant contrasted sharply with the response by United, which was criticized for initially appearing to blame the passenger, Dr. David Dao, and taking “full responsibility” for the episode only after more than a day of public condemnation. Dr. Dao’s lawyers said he had suffered a broken nose and a concussion and had two of his teeth knocked out in the episode.