New American Airlines #StrollerGate Video & Why These Videos May Make the Skies Friendly Once Again!

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american airlines stroller gate

American Airlines Customer Video

Over the years airline personnel have been given almost god like powers in the name of “safety”. I have personally seen this work in good ways with disruptive passengers quickly removed from planes and in bad ways with rude and borderline abusive flight attendants. 

Last night a video surfaced of an American Airlines employee getting into an altercation with passengers. The video begins after this employee reportedly grabs a stroller away from a mother and a baby. According to passengers on the tape, the employee hit the mother with the stroller and barely missed the baby.

On the video we see the mother crying, the Captain out investigating and passengers visibly upset about what they witnessed. Then, the situation degrades quite quickly when the accused employee re-boards the aircraft. Once back on board a first class passenger verbally confronts him only to be told by the employee, “Hit me!” What?!?

The male American Airlines employee then goes on to berate the passenger with very aggressive language and physical gestures telling him, “You don’t know the whole story.” One doesn’t need to know the entire story to understand that this employee was completely wrong in how he dealt with the situation. A byproduct of too many years of unchecked power perhaps?!?

A New World for Airline Employees

Since 2001 airline employees have gained more and more power and I think the pendulum is swinging back with the maturity of social media. In almost real time customers can expose what they feel are abusive behaviors. While I won’t comment on what supposedly happened before this video began, I can say 100% that I feel the employee’s behavior as filmed is disgusting.

Whether this new social focus on filming flight crews is a good thing or not, airline employees are going to have to learn to be a bit nicer and measured in their dealings with passengers. Whether they like it or not, that is the world we live in. Does it put added pressures on employees? Perhaps, but some of these videos clearly show abuse of power, so perhaps this is the push the airlines need to implement better training and more accountability. To their credit, American has quickly come out with a statement apologizing to the passenger and saying their team member’s actions “do not reflect patience or empathy…” 

Maybe its ironic, but perhaps someday soon we will be able to fly the friendly skies once again thanks to these videos. You can find the video below. What are your thoughts?


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6 COMMENTS

  1. You tell it like it is! That’s why you are one of the top bloggers! I hate it whenever someone (OMAAT) makes excuses for GAs and FAs on how they are under “enormous pressure….blah blah blah.” You never hear about abusive behavior from GAs and FAs from other countries and they work under the same and sometimes much worse conditions (third world countries). It’s time these airlines put customer first!

  2. Based on the story by a fellow passenger on Reddit (has attached a boarding pass image), the female passenger yelled at the FA and “aggressively” attempted to hang on to the stroller while he was attempting to leave the plane. The FA yanked hard and probably accidentally hit her, followed by responding in a macho manner to a threat by the male first class passenger. The male first class passenger initiated physical threats, and repeated them several times, as well as getting out of his seat and approaching the FA to repeat the threats.

    It seems to me all 3 of these folks were in the wrong at various stages. The FA probably deserves discipline, but why does the female passenger get an upgrade and apology and the male first class passenger is not held accountable for physical threats? The United Dao incident and backlash is the obvious driver behind AA’s over-compensating in favor of the passengers, but I feel the passengers were equally at fault.

  3. Shawn, I think you struck the right tone with your condemnation of the FA’s actions. The first class passenger’s action are debatable (from heroic to combative) based on whatever proceeded the taping.

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