(Recasts with American Airlines apology and context on recent
United incident; changes byline and dateline)
By Barbara Goldberg
NEW YORK, April 22 American Airlines on
Saturday apologized to a female passenger and suspended an
employee after a video showing an onboard clash over a baby
stroller went viral, in the latest embarassment for a U.S.
carrier over how it treated a customer.
The clip, posted to Facebook on Friday by a bystander on the
flight, shows a woman in tears with a young child in her arms,
and a man emerging from his seat to confront a male flight
Facebook user Surain Adyanthaya, who put the video on his
page, said in his post that the flight attendant had forcefully
taken the stroller from the woman, hitting her with it and just
missing her child.
"You do that to me and I'll knock you flat," the
unidentified man tells the flight attendant.
The crew member then points his finger angrily and
challenges the passenger to hit him.
The video shows the man eventually returning to his seat.
American Airlines said in a statement it was investigating
the incident, which took place before the plane took off on a
flight from San Francisco to Dallas.
"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 released early on
The woman elected to take another flight and was upgraded
to first class, the airline said.
Less than two weeks ago, United Air Lines found
itself in a public relations nightmare when a video appeared
online showing a 69-year-old doctor being dragged off one of its
flights to make room for a crew member, sparking international
outrage and policy changes by the airline.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York)