Just two weeks after United Airlines manhandled Dr. Dao off an overbooked flight, we’re seeing another incident involving another airline.
This time, it didn’t have anything to do with an overbooked flight. It appears to have had to do with American Airlines’ policy that small, collapsable strollers have to be checked at the gate. Bigger strollers have to be checked at the ticket counter.
According to witnesses, a steward – or, excuse me, male flight attendant – had wrestled a passenger’s stroller away from her, such that it hit the mother and nearly hit the baby she was holding.
A video of the aftermath was posted to social media:
Immediately after it was posted, the airline responded, giving the mother an upgrade to first class for the rest of her trip. This was a flight from San Francisco to Dallas. From CNN:
Olivia Morgan was waiting to board when the incident happened, according to a report by CNN affiliate KTLA-TV in Los Angeles.
“The flight attendant wrestled the stroller away from the woman, who was sobbing, holding one baby with the second baby in a car seat on the ground next to her,” the TV station reported.
“He stormed by me with the stroller and I said something like, ‘What are you doing? You almost hit that baby!’ And he yelled at me to ‘stay out of it!’ just like he does in the video,” she told the station.
In a statement from American Airlines, the expressed their sorrow for the incident and indicated that the flight attendant had been ‘removed from duty.’ Here’s what they said, in part:
“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.
“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.”
We haven’t seen the incident itself, so we don’t really know what happened. All we have are eye witnesses.
I understand that airlines have polices that address space concerns, and they have to apply them to everyone, even mothers with little kids and strollers. But there had to have been a better way to handle the situation rather than wrestling away the stroller from the mom.
I guess we’ll have to wait until the airline completes its investigation.
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