SAN FRANCISCO (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — A quarrel between passengers and an American Airlines employee is going viral this weekend, just weeks after a confrontation on a United Airlines flight embarrassed the industry.
A video posted to Facebook by Surain Adyanthaya captured the moments after an employee allegedly took a stroller from a woman and hit her with it, narrowly missing the baby in her arms. The video shows the distraught woman holding her baby and crying, asking flight attendants to give her the stroller back.
The incident occurred Friday on an American flight that was getting ready to take off from San Francisco to Dallas.
In the video, a fellow passenger gets up and confronts the flight attendant.
“What’s the guy’s name who did that with the stroller?” the man says. “Is he an American Airlines employee? I want to know his name personally. That’s ridiculous.”
Another passenger can be heard saying “he smacked her in the face with the stroller.”
About a minute later, the employee who apparently wrested the stroller from the woman returns to the cabin, at which point the male passenger who demanded his name confronts him directly.
“Hey, bud? Hey, bud? You do that to me and I’ll knock you flat,” the male passenger says, rising from his seat.
“You stay out of this! You stay out of this!” the employee responds, waving his finger at the passenger. “Try it. Hit me.” The two exchange words before being separated by other crew members.
As of mid-morning Saturday, the video had more than 1 million views.
American Airlines released a statement Saturday morning, saying it had already begun an investigation.
“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 airline said in a statement. “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 airline also said the employee has been removed from duty during the investigation.
“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 statement said.
Travelers at LaGuardia Airport told CBS2’s Dave Carlin they were appalled by the video.
“The airlines need to take care of the passengers more,” one woman said.
“The airlines need to retrain all these people,” another added.
The quarrel comes nearly two weeks after a passenger was dragged off a United Airlines flight by security officers at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.
Dr. David Dao was seen on cell phone video being dragged off a flight after refusing to give up his seat for a United Airlines crew member.
In the United incident, the crew was trying to make room for four employees of a partner airline who needed to get to Louisville by Monday morning to crew another flight, and the airline asked for four volunteers to give up their seats.
When they couldn’t get any volunteers to give up their seats, United picked four passengers at random to be removed from the flight. Passengers said at first, Dao said he would give up his seat.
“He volunteered — him and his wife — they volunteered, initially, for a second,” said passenger Jay Anspach. “But, once they found out the next flight wasn’t until today at 2:30 p.m., he said: ‘I can’t do that. I have to be at work.’ That may be one of the reasons why he was chosen.”
A Chicago Department of Aviation security officer hauled Dao out of his seat, and dragged him down the aisle by his arms.
In the video, other passengers on Flight 3411 are heard saying, “Please, my God,” ”What are you doing?” ”This is wrong,” ”Look at what you did to him” and “Busted his lip.”
United chief executive officer Oscar Munoz first issued a letter defending his employees, saying the passenger was being “disruptive and belligerent.” But a day later, his tone was more repentant, saying, “I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.”
United has since updated its policies, saying it will require staff and crew to check in at least 60 minutes before a flight.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)