Port Authority Cops: American Airlines Flight Attendant Threatens Passengers At LaGuardia
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s happened again.
Another member of a commercial airline flight crew lost it on a plane and it was all caught on video.
“Obviously someone doesn’t know how to keep their cool when their whole job is to keep their cool in a pressured situation,” said Maxine Kozler Koven of East Harlem.
On Monday, American Eagle flight attendant Jose Serrano, who is seen on the video in uniform and glasses, apparently couldn’t take the heat as passengers became impatient on their weather-delayed flight to Raleigh-Durham, N.C. The plane was stuck at LaGuardia Airport for five hours, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Thursday.
He was heard threatening passengers.
“I don’t want to hear anything. We will not hear anything once we close the door,” Serrano says on video.
Port Authority Police said they were called to Flight 4607 following reports that Serrano was making inappropriate comments over the PA system, daring passengers to get off the plane.
“So if you have balls, this is your time. Otherwise you’re going to have to fly with Jose,” Serrano said.
The incident was similar to former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater’s epic meltdown back in August 2010. Slater cursed at passengers over the PA system and later made a getaway down an emergency slide. The episode became a world-wide story and led to much embarrassment for the airline.
Then on March 27 of this year, a JetBlue pilot was accused in a frightening mid-air meltdown. On Thursday, he pleaded not guilty to interfering with a flight crew. Clayton Osbon’s alleged outburst came on a flight from Las Vegas to New York. Passengers said they had to wrestle him to the floor when he ran through the cabin mid-flight yelling about Jesus and al-Qaida.
Following a psychiatric evaluation, a judge ruled Osbon mentally competent to stand trial.
As for Monday’s incident, some passengers reportedly refused to fly with Serrano on board. Travelers that spoke to CBS 2’s Sanchez on Thursday said they didn’t blame the passengers for losing trust in the attendant.
“If they aren’t capable of maintaining their kind of calm, then how can you expect them to react while in an emergency?” passenger Jen Farr said.
“If somebody was in the employ of the airline and needed training or retraining I would not feel comfortable. I would think that was a real deficiency in the airline handling hiring or training or retraining for that matter,” Drew Koven said.
American Airlines released a statement saying: “We do not believe that the passengers’ frustrations were always met with the level of service that we expect from our people, and for that we are truly sorry.”
Serrano was taken off the flight. There were no arrests.
American Airlines said the flight was eventually cancelled because the crew didn’t have enough duty time left after the long weather delay, and because of the disruptive behavior of several passengers.
CBS 2 asked American about Serrano’s employment, but the airline said it does not discuss employee matters in the press.
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