Follow CBSDFW.COM: Facebook | Twitter
DFW AIRPORT (CBSDFW.COM) – A Facebook video that went viral shows a mother in distress while boarding a Dallas bound flight Friday.
Witnesses say a male flight attendant grabbed her child’s stroller on the plane, hitting her and nearly her baby.
Another passenger had seen enough and confronted the flight attendant. “Hey bud, you do that to me and I’ll knock you flat.”
The flight attendant responded by saying, “C’mon hit me. C’mon.”
The passenger said, “I’ll knock you flat.”
On the video, a female flight attendant can be heard saying it was an accident.
American Airlines says in a statement, “…We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family… The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care…”
The airline says it was disappointed in the flight attendant’s actions and that it removed him from duty while it investigates.
In a statement, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants says “…Neither the company nor the public should rush to judgment… It appears another passenger may have threatened a Flight Attendant with violence, which is a violation of federal law and no small matter…”
CBS 11 showed the video to Awa Ngiaye, who’s taking a ten hour flight to France with her ten-day-old daughter – by herself. “It’s very hard. It’s like being a single mother.”
She’s hoping she will have a good experience.
If not Ngiaye says, “If someone gets in my face with a stroller, I will slap them.”
Mark Drusch, a former executive for Delta and Continental Airlines, who is now vice president for consulting firm Airlines ICF, says the video proves just how stressful flights have become. “The airlines need to keep focusing on how do we de-stress for the passengers and for the crews so we don’t have these eruptions of bad behavior that should never happen.”
Other travelers who saw the video including Toby Young say they support the passenger who confronted the flight attendant. “I salute the man. He’s sticking up for a fellow passenger who was obviously in distress.”
American Airlines says it upgraded the mother and her family to first class Friday night for the rest of their international trip.
Drusch credits American Airlines for responding to this passenger’s case so quickly.