An upset passenger seen in a now-viral video, which depicted tension after a mother’s stroller was “violently” grabbed by a flight attendant, is speaking out about the onboard tension.
“A baby almost got hurt. That’s what just fired me up, so that was it. I don’t want to make a big deal about it,” Tony Fierro, who was identified as the man who approached the attendant after the incident, said about the situation to WFAA-TV.
The video began with the mom in tears with her baby in her arms, asking for her stroller back while the plane was still at the gate in San Francisco. According to the man who originally posted the video on Facebook, a flight attendant had grabbed the woman’s stroller as she attempted to place it in an overheard bin, nearly hitting her and her child.
Fierro had gotten up and approached the front of the plane where the attendant, young mother, and other crew members were gathered. He asked for the flight attendant’s name, and after initially returning to his seat, he rejoined the situation, exchanging heated words with the attendant.
Surain Adyanthaya, who posted the video, also recounted the scenario from his perspective.
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“He was very upset. He grabbed it and just pulled it off, sort of violently yanked it, and then stormed off the plane with it,” Adyanthaya told WFAA-TV.
In a statement on Saturday, American Airlines said they have launched an investigation into the incident, and the passenger and her family were upgraded to first class for the remainder of their international trip.
“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 airline said.
The flight eventually took off and landed at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, according to WFAA-TV.
The incident follows United Airlines’ own public relations troubles. United made headlines earlier this month after aggressively dragging a passenger off their plane after he wouldn’t volunteer his seat for crew members on an overbooked flight.