The AA Flight Attendant Union Releases Insane Statement

Apr 22, 2017

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While American Airlines’ corporate PR responded swiftly and well (in my opinion) to this weekend’s airline PR crisis, the union representing American Airlines’ flight attendants took a much different approach in their response.

Per AP’s David Koenig:

I understand that the union is there to protect their members and this whole situation reflects extremely poorly on AA’s flight attendants, but to brush over the belligerent, aggressive behavior of the flight attendant is crazy. To blame this behavior on scheduling and shrinking seats is also crazy and myopic. As he says, we should wait for the facts before making judgement, but if it turns out that the flight attendant truly was aggressive and hit the woman — accidental or not — it is inexcusable to blame that behavior on overhead bin sizes.

I will agree that we need to address the issue of passenger rage, but to do it after dismissing a clearly distressing situation is not the way to do it. I went on CNN earlier and agreed that the male passenger who threatened the flight attendant (in front of the pilot) should have been kicked off the plane.

While I think his intentions were good initially, to threaten a visibly agitated flight attendant is never a good idea, and I do think that while the flight attendant should not have responded in the way he did encouraging the altercation, both parties are responsible.

There are always two sides of a story, but what we see in the video is a lack of leadership on AA’s frontline staff. Watching the video, there were many ways for the flight attendants and pilots to deescalate the situation, but for some reason the distraught flight attendant was left to fix the situation that he was a part of, which was a recipe for disaster. Luckily they didn’t get into another fight in the air and in the end no children were hurt, but this is another reminder that we need more compassion in air travel and that needs to come from both the airlines and passengers.

H/T: David Koeing via Twitter

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