American Airlines says it is investigating an incident that took place on one of its flights Friday when a male flight attendant allegedly hit a women carrying a baby with her stroller — and almost hit the baby, too.
A Facebook video showing the aftermath of that incident, including the crying mother, the angry flight attendant and a male passenger who stood up for the woman is going viral. However, the video does not show the alleged stroller slinging.
"OMG! AA Flight attendant violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby on my flight, hitting her and just missing the baby. Then he tried to fight a passenger who stood up for her," wrote Surain Adyanthaya, who captured the footage, on Facebook Friday evening. The flight was scheduled to go from San Francisco to Dallas-Ft. Worth.
"You can’t use violence with baby," the crying mother says at the beginning of the video while another flight attendant and pilot standby. "Just give me back my stroller please."
Then an unnamed male passenger gets up and demands to know the name of the male flight attendant: "No, I’m not going to sit here and watch this stuff..." the man says.
Then the male flight attendant at the center of the incident gets back on the plane.
"Hey bud, you do that to me, and I’ll knock you flat," says the male passenger who demanded to know the flight attendant's name.
"Hey, you stay out of this!" the flight attendant angrily yells back, pointing his finger while lunging at the passenger.
Then the passenger, a much bigger man, jumps up and gets in the face of the flight attendant.
"Hit me," the flight attendant says, motioning with his hands. "Come on, hit me."
"You don’t know what the story is!" the flight attendant says after the two continue to exchange words.
"I don’t care what the story is," the passenger replies. "You almost hurt a baby!"
The videos ends after the male passenger sits back in his seat and the male flight attendant gets off the plane. At the end of the video, the mother can still be heard sobbing.
The original video has been viewed more than 1.6 million times as of Saturday afternoon and has been shared more than 10,000 times.
As a result of the incident, the flight attendant at the center of the incident has been suspended by American Airlines.
"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," the company said in a statement.
The airline said the family at the center of the video elected to take a later flight where they were upgraded to first class for the remainder of their international trip.
"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 statement said.
"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 statement added.
American Airlines says its investigation into the incident remains ongoing.
The incident comes just weeks after United Airlines was mired in controversy after a man was violently forced off a plane because United needed to fly four of its crew members and therefore needed to remove four passengers who had already boarded. The man didn't want to give up his seat and police officers forcibly removed him, causing national outrage.
These incidents, many experts say, are evidence of the overall troubling U.S. airline industry.