This story is so bad on so many levels, but the bottom line is that the American Airlines flight attendant in question should be supremely pitied for her deplorable behavior. She has no business being in a customer-facing role.
Shameful Flight Attendant Goes On Power Trip Against Miami Passengers
The incident took place on American Airlines flight 3573 from Key West to Miami, a 7:00am departure. According to an Executive Platinum AAdvantage member who shared about her flight on Facebook, it all began over a mother traveling alone with her two-year-old baby.
The lady was trying to lug her carry-on bag, the car seat, and the baby onto the plane. The baby was crying and did not have his mask on. At the door, the flight attendant aggressively scolded the mother. Instead of offering to help her carry something or show a bit of patience, the flight attendant barked at her:
Flight Attendant: “Ma’am you need to step off the plane!”
Mother: “Im trying, Im trying.”
Flight Attendant: “If she [baby] can’t wear a mask then she shouldn’t travel with you!”
Another passenger then got up to offer assistance to the lady, carrying her car seat to her assigned row. The flight attendant added fuel to the fire, loudly telling her colleague:
Flight Attendant: “She better have that mask on. If I go back there an its not on, I’m tossing her off this plane!”
The toddler quieted down when given a bottle (and did not have to wear a mask), but began crying again and refused to keep her mask on when the bottle was taken away.
While the flight attendant demanded she be thrown off, a gate agent and pilot attempted to de-escalate the situation (talking to the flight attendant, not the mother). But the flight attendant insisted upon her way and the mother and child were thrown off the (50-minute) flight.
Oh, but the story gets much worse.
Everyone was forced off the flight (and there is no indication that the mother refused to exit the aircraft), creating a further delay.
As the Executive Platinum member was leaving the aircraft, she said the to the flight attendant, “You should be ashamed of yourself. A crying baby, really?” She said nothing else and just kept walking off the aircraft.
Meanwhile, a disabled passenger had trouble walking from her seat to the jet bridge to wait for a wheelchair and another passenger began crying, telling those around her she would now miss her brother’s funeral. Unintended consequences…
Back on the plane, the Executive Platinum member walked to her seat, shaking her head in disgust at the flight attendant as she walked by her.
The flight attendant “marched” over and screamed, “Do you have a problem?” The passenger did not respond and the flight attendant repeated the question like a parrot until the passenger finally said, “Yes.”
The flight attendant called the gate agent and lied that the Executive Platinum member was “threatening” her and added, “I should have her kicked off the flight too.”
The flight attendant again demanded, “Do you have a problem?” When the woman did not respond immediately, the flight attendant yelled to the gate agent:
“Do you smell alcohol?! I smell alcohol!”
It was 7:00am…the passenger had a mask on and the FA had a mask on. She had consumed no alcohol.
Not wanting to delay the flight further, the woman backed down and said, “No.” She was asked again, in a humiliating fashion if she had a problem, and again said, “No.”
The flight attendant returned to her jumpseat and the flight took off.
An American Airlines spokesperson notes:
“Two customers were removed from American Airlines flight 3573 prior to departure from Key West (EYW) for failing to comply with the federal face mask requirement. After agreeing to comply with the face mask requirement, the customers were rebooked for travel on the next available flight to Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) and completed travel later that day.
“We are reviewing this incident and a member of our team has reached out to the customers to learn more about their experience.”
American Airlines should certainly review the incident and ask that the flight attendant in question no longer serve on an American Airlines flight (EYW – MIA flights are operated by Envoy Air / American Eagle).
Meanwhile in Charlotte:
— Joseph Minor (@UTDJoe) January 21, 2022
You’re welcome to believe that two year olds should wear masks…that’s fine. But the flight attendant’s behavior is indefensible and her treatment of the mother and of the Executive Platinum passenger is just horrible. Regional or not, she was wearing an American Airlines uniform on an American Airlines flight number.
American Airlines needs to control its flights attendants…
(image: Envoy Air // H/T: View From The Wing)