Another day, another viral incident. This is all getting old. First United, yesterday Delta, today American.
Today’s incident centers on a woman who claims a FA forcibly grabbed her stroller from her, allegedly hitting her and nearly hitting her twin babies. Facts are still emerging, but it seems the gate agent told the passenger she could take the stroller onboard while the FA prevented her from entering the aircraft without gate checking it.
A fight ensued and the FA apparently grabbed the stroller “violently” from the woman.
How does another passenger describe the incident?
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.
We do not have the initial altercation on video. Our video picks up as the lady is sobbing in the forward galley.
I don’t know what to make about the guy in the second row of first class who almost picks a fight with the FA. While his action is ultimately counterproductive, maybe what he said needed to be said. Still, no need for a fist fight under any circumstance. I almost feel bad for the FA when he shouts at the man to mind his own business and that he doesn’t know the whole story, but his combative “hit me” tone suggests he rude to the woman as well. After all, why else would she be crying?
The captain had to restrain him as another FA tried to calm both her angry flying partner and the angry man in first class.
Facts are still emerging and I’ll provide updates as appropriate. The FA has already placed on leave. AA has re-accomodated the woman and her twins on a later flight. The first class passenger flew as planned.
These sorts of incidents always went on, but the last two weeks have made every altercation much more newsworthy than in the past. Let’s see if American can handle this situation better than United handled UA3411.
Do you proofread your posts? Parts of it seemed incoherent. Maybe it’s just me?
I do, but what looks wrong to you?
Really? You don’t see anything wrong? but his combative “hit me” tone suggests he rude to the woman as well.
I think the gentleman who stood up was actually trying to bring the guy’s attitude towards himself instead of the woman with the baby, TBH. He ended up de-escalating the situation, deliberately or inadvertently, because it brought the blue shirt up short.
The “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” approach to bullies, if you like. Watch blue shirt’s body language when the guy steps forwards towards him.
While it is very unclear what proceeded the video, the fact the captain was already out of the captain observing the aftermath is indicative that something serious happened. While the first class passengers actions initially appeared debatable, the response from the FA was indicative his guilt and temperament. While I would usually side with the airlines, this one has me leaning heavily towards the passengers.
We are only seeing half of the story (on video). Honestly without actually seeing any video about what happened during the alleged “assault” with the double stroller – (pretty obvious that she wasn’t going to cram it into any overhead bin), we cannot really know if the FA was rude to the passenger, aggressive, angry or whatever. Most likely she was accidentally hit with the stroller as he had to wrestle it out of the bin – (and of course she would be right on top of him without enough sense to step back).
Very annoying that the captain just stood there like he was watching a ping-pong match – no reaction. Certainly at the point that Mr. Buttinsky jumped up and made a threat to the flight attendant (well-meaning or not), the captain should have defended his crew and had the guy off-loaded. He did nothing. Public contact employees need to have good lawyers in their back pocket – at all times.
Not surprised! Sadly we in this country are not taught about morals, ” respect for elders & compassion for those younger than you”.
I just wish we had far more competition on domestic flights. We need to allow foreign carriers to compete for domestic flights. I ALWAYS TRY TO AVOID any US carriers when flying out of or in to the country. That means NO UA, AA or DELTA. They are just terrible. Bad you are flying alone or with family with a child. The customer service on phone, the counter and gate agents and the flight crews , though not all but too many of them are ARROGANT, CONDESCENDING, RUDE & ALWAYS DISCOURTEOUS !
The flight attendant should be fired. And the passenger who threatened to assault him should be banned from AA for life. Case closed.
Does anyone else find it odd just how much the women is balling her eyes out. Let’s be honest it’s not like she was sucker punched. And I’m sorry I fly all the time and have NEVER seen a gate agent allow a stroller on. The simple solution is the most likely. She was asked to hate check but refused. Was rude and self entitled like most passengers are nowadays and just thought she’d take it upon herself to bring it on. The FA attendant probably curtly told her it needs gate checked and a back and forth ensued until the FA had no choice but to take it from her. He probably did hit her with it. Maybe she should’ve been. Grow up and follow the rules. The fact it “almost hit the baby” provides nothing. It didn’t and if she would have gate checked it she also wouldn’t be hit. The guy obviously escalated it and should have minded his own business. I see nothing wrong with how this was handled.
I am a flight attendant and everything that you wrote Shawn is so accurate. People tend to look at these situations through a narrow lens in my opinion. Have they ever had to get a stroller out of a overhead bin space that’s not supposed to be there in the first place ?? You don’t have to grab it forcible to even make a scene. You can easily and accidentally hit anyone in sight including yourself trying to pull the stroller out. Because flight attendants come to work to the passengers life so much more miserable, Yeah I’m not here for it. Take care.
Yes, right, I saw it that way as well. She was probably standing right on top of him as he struggled to get the stroller out of the overhead bin and then she was accidentally struck with it. Like you, anyone in the industry can pretty much guess what has happened here, sight unseen. I don’t think the FA should be suspended, let alone fired. I hope he holds up during whatever hearing AA gives him. Mr. Buttinsky got in his face and even though the FA “reacted” verbally, he had enough sense to raise his arms and back-up (basically daring the passenger to hit him) without throwing a punch first or at all. Apparently, as anyone could guess, this passenger is now suing AA (see FlyerTalk) even though they wiped her rear-end with a F-class upgrade (obviously three seats), a full refund of her tickets and some miles. Airlines employees will now become the whipping boy of any and all perceived less than Disney experiences. I’m sure we will soon be hearing that Mr. Buttinsky is also suing for the “trauma” he has endured.
Look, I’m in agreement that flying today is no picnic and many employees are a very different breed than decades ago but when did we become a nation of people being able to deal with disappointment to a litigious, overly apologetic, give the store away society just to shut people up because of minor scuffles or disagreements. Oh right, I guess that’s when parents decided the losing teams in elementary school also should get a trophy. Wow, glad I’m an old person.
Thank you. I’ve been reading around on this story, and hardly anyone has found fault with the passenger who made it a point to get out of his and climb past his companion’s seat, taking his phone camera with him and knowing that others were filming (and he even commented on the video showing up on the news) and calling out the “Bud” FA and threatening him. That guy was escorted back to his seat?! He should have been made to leave the plane.
Those without young children just have no idea how stressfull it is to fly. The passenger who saw this incident unfold and the child almost hit by the stroller was visibly upset and should be awarded by AA for diverting the FA anger from the woman and for also exposing the lack of empathy and courtesy in one of it’s employee’s. The FA should seek an exciting career as a bouncer at the local bar.
Then don’t fly. It’s honestly not the airlines problem. You’re not instantly entitled because you’re carrying a baby. I actually do have young children and am well aware what it’s like flying with them.
You have no idea what ensued before the video nor do I. However I fly more than enough to have an idea.
And why the women was crying like someone almost just stole her child I do not understand.
We’re creating a culture by vilifying all airlines and their workers whereby all passengers should just try to buck the system hoping that some poor airline employee at their whits end has had enough. Then we can cry foul, sue the airline, get our 5 min of fame and a million while we’re at it.
Do domestic airlines suck? Absolutely? But so do many domestic passengers and it’s dealing with us that has caused them to become so condescending and rude. You couldn’t pay me enough to deal with what they put up with on a daily basis.
Let’s not forget it was the passenger who threatened the FA. I saw nothing wrong with how he responded.
Not to mention at the end of the day had the passenger followed the rules in place this wouldn’t have happened and we would still be talking about how much United sucks.
“Hit me!” “Bring it to me!” This is not acceptable behaviour from a FA, period.
No matter whatever happened before or what kind of “criminal” passenger is in front of you.
If you cannot cope with this then change job.
“Had the passenger followed the rules….this wouldn’t have happened”. Seriously? We don’t know what exactly happened but a FA should NEVER take personal property off a passenger with force.
I think a good FA might have said something like:
“M’am, I apologize but if you insist on carrying the stroller you will not be alllowed to board”.
You’re missing my greater point. I’ll agree with you he could have responded better. How would I act if some pax threatened to beat the crap out of me? Who knows but these are people not robots. AA did the right thing and grounded him until further investigation. However had she gate checked the item this wouldn’t have happened. He was trying to do his job and had a moment in sure he regrets. I’m glad everyone is perfect. Maybe he’s an ass. Maybe he’s an great employee. Who knows.
So they can’t call security nor remove items what exactly are they suppose to do? Barracade the door? I would imagine the FA did say something you suggested but she resisted. There’s already accounts if this. We are certainly creating a culture where pax just put up their middle fingers and say F you. They should most certainly physically remove items from pax if they deem it appropriate given the situation. If they’re drunk or belligerent or trying to cause harm. Or even if they refusing to follow an order. I also agree the captain should’ve stepped in more forcibly and took command of the situation.
Fly with us….anarchy in the skies.
That passenger got out of his seat twice. While he had an acceptable reason the first time–to get the FA’s name–he acted in a demanding way and was borderline rude. The second time he got up, he had just barely seen the FA and was dying to get up there and do his macho shtick. He immediately acted aggressively and threatened him with violence. He should have been made to get off that plane. If I’d been a passenger, I’d have asked why a person who makes threats to others was being allowed to stay on a plane that would soon be in the sky and everyone’s all the more vulnerable. And if I had been seated next to him or in very close to him, I’d have asked that I be given a different seat. If that were not done, I’d have immediately ended my frequent flyer/credit card program with the airline.
Well said, thanks so much. If people would drop the over-reactive mob mentality and wait for the facts (AA will obviously have a hearing with the flight attendant and other witnesses). Hope he is not fired. We have all been there because there truly are very, very obnoxious, unreasonable passengers who in the end seem to be rewarded for their blatant lying and bad behavior.
Worse still, most airline management and supervision rarely stick up for the employee and certainly not at the time of the incident. Many years ago, I worked with a customer service agent (female) who (unprovoked) was punched in the face by an irate male customer. Nothing came of it, she was “encouraged” not to involve the police or press charges. At the time she was young and naive and let it go. I’ve seen dozens of horrible incidents both at ticket counters, at gates and on airplanes BY PASSENGERS and we have now truly become FORCED TO ACCEPT ‘the customer is always right’ while we remained strapped into our politically correct, fear of losing our jobs mentality.
The male, bald, flight attendant invited the passenger to strike him. The FA was a psycho, who showed no empathy, or sensitivity. If he acted in such a belligerent way to the passenger, (who looked like he could physically handle himself in a fight), then there is no doubt that he was abusive and abrasive to the female, with the two twin babies. Look, I’ve seen people bring all sorts of junk on to an aircraft, including large suitcases, which they cram into the overhead bins. If wheelchairs are allowed on an aircraft, then surely baby strollers should be allowed. Years ago, they used to allow us to board from the front and back simultaneously, which essentially speeded up the boarding process. The so-called Captain of that flight, cannot escape blame, either. The Captain is the law on board an aircraft. He stood outside the flight deck like a dummy, and didn’t say a word. He could have restrained that bald, male, flight attendant. Instead, he took the path of least resistance, and did nothing. I can assure everyone, that if Captain Chesley Sullenberger, was still flying, as well as First Officer Jeff Skyles, they would not have stood for that garbage. They would have thrown that piece of garbage FA, head first, off the plane. I don’t blame the passenger for confronting that piece of garbage, as I would have done the exact same thing. Also, I would not have been as restrained, since my defense would have been that the FA taunted me to hit him. It should be noted that in 2001 at Newark Airport, there was a similar incident, whereby a physically abusive gate agent roughed up a female passenger and her small child. The child tried to run down the gate ramp, and the Mother ran after him. The Father intervened with the gate agent, who tried to strike him. P.S. The Father beat the heck out of the gate agent, and caused spinal fractures on the gate agent. The passenger was arrested, and charged with felonious assault, and other charges. P.S. A Newark jury acquitted the passenger of all charges, since the gate agent provoked the fight. Alas, in sixteen years, the horrible domestic airlines still haven’t learned how to train their crew on how to treat passengers with dignity and respect. If one flies the Asian Airlines, such as Japan Air Lines, Singapore Air Lines, as well as SAS, Lufthansa, Iberia, etc. their FA’s treat the passengers with courtesy and respect. However, in the USA, the FA’s have a chip on their shoulders and an attitude, from the minute they get out of bed. Even the animals which fly in the cargo compartment are treated more humanely than the passengers.
The woman who’s baby was “almost hit’ does seem to be carrying on quite a bit. I guess the bigger fuss one makes the more money they can sue for. She was asked to leave the stroller outside. She refused. She broke the rules. Kick her off? No. Send her first class. This is how a two year old learns to manipulate their parents.
The United guy? When asked to leave the plane he had the option but refused. The lesson here. Be a pain in the ass to everyone [fellow passengers, flight attendants, gate crew, security etc.] and decide that the rules don’t apply to you and get FREE MONEY!!!!
The male passenger did the right thing and neutralized the FA’s sense of power (due to nothing more than his uniform.)
From what I understand, the woman passenger ignored the airline’s employee/s when her stroller was too big and actually tagged for storing under the plane (and we know this happens all the time with carry-ons and people accept it). She insisted on carrying it on-board. Surely, the FAs would have been happy to help her out with the kids as needed once the plane landed (I see it all the time with the helping parents of young kids, the elderly–including my mother-in-law–and the handicapped), but she insisted on ignoring what she had been directed to do. I’ve flown a lot and have endured so many of these arrogant passengers who have interfered with everyone else’s flight experience. I can’t stand seeing this woman with her crocodile tears that go on and on and as her backpack sticks out into the aisle and makes every other passenger have to squeeze through to board. And while there have been some examples of problematic FAs in the news, over the past 35 years that I’ve flown, I’ve never once seen an FA act out of line or be anything other than polite. (My only complaint, after all this time, is that they don’t go through the aisles as often as in the past to offer something to drink, and we know how important staying hydrated is.) Regardless of the male FA’s behavior, the passenger who got out of his seat to confront him should have been ordered off the plane. Unlike some others here, I do not see him as redirecting the argument toward himself so as to diffuse the situation. And even if that were the case, he used words that were a threat–and he should have been made to leave.
Interesting. The attorney for the woman says that she was not hit.