American Airlines Flight Attendant Allegedly Hits Woman with a Stoller, Attempts to Fight a second Passenger

Just a little over a week after video surfaced of a United Airlines passenger being bloodied by police and forcibly removed from his seat, an American Airlines flight attendant has been accused of hitting a passenger with a stroller.  He’s also seen in a second altercation, attempting to fight a second passenger.

According to reports on social media and via other passengers, a mother was boarding American Airlines flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas when an American Airlines flight attendant “violently” ripped a stroller from the woman, nearly striking her child.  Shaken up by the altercation, the woman is seen in tears throughout a video posted online.

A second flight attendant is seen comforting the crying mother when a second altercation involving a passenger and flight attendant that allegedly hit the mother.  A passenger was so disturbed by the incident that he stood up from his seat and confronted the flight attendant that allegedly struck the mother with a stroller.

During the second altercation, the passenger is heard saying that if the flight attendant had done that him, “he would have knocked him flat.”  The flight attendant is then heard telling the passenger to, “bring it on.”  At this time, the rest of the American Airlines crew is seen restraining the flight attendant while the passenger wife makes an attempt to restrain her husband.

This incident is shocking and appalling, to say the least.  If a flight attendant did indeed strike a mother with a stroller, I’d say that this incident is far worse than the United Airlines incident that occurred last week.  I say this because, in the case of United Airlines, the crew never physically attacked the passenger.

American Airlines has already responded to the incident in a press release.  The press release reads;

“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.” (Link to Press Release)

Interestingly, the cabin crew on American Airlines flight 591 is former US Airways flight crew.  Not that this likely played much of a role but, US Airways flight crew are still a member of a union separate to that of the one American Airlines flight crew are members of.  Some US Airways flight crew have claimed that, when cabin crew operations will be combined, that their seniority at the company will be diminished.  What I’m getting at is that former-US Airways flight crew and American Airlines management aren’t in the best standing at the moment.

Again, this flight attendant could have just been a bad egg and corporate structure might have had nothing to do with this incident.  I just thought I’d mention it.

Unlike United, American Airlines takes Charge

One major criticism of United Airlines in the wake of the video of the doctor being forcibly removed from a United Express flight was both the super-corporate responses and inaction of the airline.

American Airlines has decided not to follow in the footsteps of United Airlines and take charge of the incident by releasing a press release just hours after the flight.  Additionally, the press release is actually not a press release but labeled a “crisis-report” on the American Airlines newsroom.  Already, the way in which American Airlines has responded to this incident is far more human and compassionate than United Airline’s stunning inaction.

The woman allegedly assaulted with a stroller was upgraded to first class for the rest of her itinerary and the flight crew has already been removed from duty.

Of Course, There are Two Sides to Every Story

This is where I will, understandably, get pushback from readers.  I am in no way defending the flight attendant who allegedly struck the mother with a stroller and then attempted to flight another passenger.  Instead, I’m going to take on the “wanna-be-hero” who initiated the second confrontation.

The second confrontation begins after the first flight attendant allegedly struck the mother.  In the beginning of the video, another American Airlines flight attendant is seen comforting the mother.  However, the flight is still boarding so that flight attendant has to leave her post to address oncoming passengers.  Simultaneously, it appears the incident made its way to the flight deck as a pilot is seen standing in front of the flight deck door.

Passenger plays wanna-be-hero in wake of altercation

Passenger plays wanna-be-hero in wake of altercation

Even though the event is over, the flight attendant who allegedly struck the passenger is minding his own business, and other flight crew are making an attempt to aid the mother, a second passenger felt the need to be a hero.  The way in which he plays hero comes off more confrontational and violent rather than heroic.  Additionally, if the one flight attendant has already proved to be a loose canon, why further upset him?  The man’s actions are so unneeded, other passengers are in no way welcoming to his actions.

That’s where I take issue.

Unconfirmed: Reddit User Claims Mother Started Altercation

According to a user on Reddit, who claims they were on American Airlines flight 591, the mother, in fact, started the initial altercation.  She was instructed by the male flight attendant that the stroller had to be gate checked.  She grabbed, or rather yanked the stroller from the flight attendant and began to shout at him.  That’s when the flight attendant lost his cool and yanked the stroller out of the mother’s hand.

It sounds like the mother might have already had some anxiety about the flight.  Any change in plans was not going to end well for her.  When the flight attendant lost his patience, it appears that’s when the mother broke down.

Here’s a link to the post on Reddit.

(Updated: 6:50 AM CST)

American Airlines flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas (Image: FlightRadar24)

American Airlines flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas (Image: FlightRadar24)


I’m really hoping there’s more to this story.  If a flight attendant was really truly that impatient that he was willing to strike a mother, that’s appalling.  However, regardless of how this story plays out, the wanna-be-hero is (at least to me) clearly in the wrong.  I sound like a “corporate shill” but no one knows exactly what took place on American Airlines flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas.  No one knows both sides of the story.  I will continue to monitor this story and update this post as often as I can.