American Airlines Stroller Incident

American Airlines Stroller Incident

Updated Apr 25, 2017 at 01:40PM EDT by Matt.

Added Apr 25, 2017 at 10:33AM EDT by Matt.

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American Airlines Stroller Incident refers to a viral video of an American Airlines flight attendant arguing with a passenger over the alleged mistreatment of another passenger and her infant child.


On April 21st, 2017, Facebook user Surain Adyanthaya[1] posted a video (shown below) to Facebook of an altercation between an American Airlines flight attendants and a passenger allegedly incited by the mistreatment of another passenger and her baby.

Adyanthaya captioned the video:

"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."

Within four days, the video has received more than 15,000 reactions, 34,700 shares, and 7.3 million views.

According to other passengers,[2] the incident started when the attendant attempted to remove a stroller from the plane. He allegedly struck the passenger and narrowly missed the baby. In the video, a male passenger stood up and confronted the attendant, leading to the attendant repeatedly saying, "Hit me."


American Airlines Statement

Later that day, American Airlines delivered this statement to NBC News:[3]

"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.

Flight Attendants Union Statement

On April 22nd, Associated Press airline reporter David Koenig tweeted[4] a statement from the Flight Attendant's union on Twitter (shown below).

David Koenig airlinewriter AA video: Here's the full statement by Bob Ross, president of @APFAunity, whiclh represents @AmericanAir flight attendants. FORT WORTH, TEXAS (April 22, 2017) The goal of our 26,000 members is to make every flight safe and secure for our passengers and crew. All passengers deserve to be treated with respect. We also must assure that our Flight Attendants are treated respectfully and safely on board. Our dedicated Flight Attendants at American strive every day to make the passenger experience the best in the industry. However this has become more challenging due to tight schedules, overcrowded planes, shrinking seats, and limited overhead bin space. All of these factors are related to corporate decisions beyond the control of passengers and Flight Attendants There are really two stories here related to this incident aboard a San Francisco to Dallas flight. One, we don't know all of the facts related to a passenger who became distraught while boarding a plane and therefore neither the company nor the public should rush to judgment. Second, it appears another passenger may have threatened a Flight Attendant with violence, which is a violation of federal law and no small matter. Air rage has become a serious issue on our flights. We must obtain the full facts surrounding these incidents. Our passengers and the Flight Attendants deserve nothing less.

Online Reaction

The controversy reached Reddit on April 21st, prompting a thread by Redditor ebrake[9] in the /r/Dallas subredddit, which garnered more than 590 points (89% upvoted) and 590 comments. A thread on the subreddit /r/OutOfTheLoop posted by greentable_redtomato[10] received more than 4,500 points (89% upvoted) and 650 comments.

Online, people on Twitter joked about the similarities between the American Airlines controversy and the United Airlines Passenger Removal, which happened only a few weeks prior.

Zoltan Bathory @ZoltanBathory #UnitedAirlines : Nobody can beat our customers like we do. #AmericanAirlines : Hold my beer Ed Hill @kingedhil Is Worldstar Hip Hop sponsoring all major airlines? #AmericanAirlines #UnitedAirlines Mia Alanis MiaAlanisPR You're up next @Delta. Don't screw this up. All eyes on you. #AmericanAirlines #UnitedAirlines

News Media Coverage

Several news media outlets covered the story, including Mashable,[5] NBC,[3] CNN,[6] CBS,[7] The New York Times,[8] and more.

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