The upsetting footage, filmed shortly before Flight 591 departed from San Francisco on Friday afternoon, shows the airline staff member goading a passenger and saying, ‘hit me’.
The clip was uploaded by passenger Surain Adyanthaya, who explained he started filming after the flight attendant ‘violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby on my flight, hitting her and just missing the baby’.
Adyanthaya went on to explain:
‘They just involuntarily escorted the mother and her kids off the flight and let the flight attendant back on, who tried to fight other passengers. The mom asked for an apology and the AA official declined.’
In the video, a distraught woman is seen standing at the front of the plane holding a child.
She can be seen sobbing and asks staff members to get her stroller back.
At this point, other passengers are heard expressing their disgust at the situation.
One says he’s ‘not going to sit here and watch this…’ and then gets up and walks to the front of the plane to confront flight attendants.
The man asks for the name of the employee who is alleged to have hit the crying woman.Adyanthaya claimed the woman was removed and the employee who supposedly was violent toward her was permitted back on the plane. Adyanthaya posted another photo on his Facebook page showing the woman with two young children – believed to be twins – in her arms.
The airline released a statement late Friday saying that it was ‘disappointed by these actions’ and had already started to investigate the incident.
‘What we see on this video does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers,’ the company said in a statement.
‘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.