American Airlines Flight Attendant Threatens to Make Life Difficult for Asian Woman Returning to the U.S.

An American Airlines passenger posted video last night of a flight attendant threatening to “make life customs.”

According to the passenger the family was filming the flight attendant because they found her rude on the plane.

Apparently the mother in the family had fallen ill and sought direction on “properly dispos[ing] of her throw up” and the family claims that the flight attendant responded “oh please I’ve been dealing with you people for 30 years.” They also claim the flight attendant followed up on her threat with customs staff. The flight attendant is now being referred to on twitter as #CustomsCarol.

I asked the airline for more information on the incident and they replied,

We were just made aware of the video, and are working to get more information. We have reached out to the passengers and our team to understand what occurred on the flight and in the airport.

The charge that the flight attendant referred to this passenger’s mother, an Asian woman, as “you people” is especially concerning this week in the context of national attention surrounding comments telling people who are U.S. citizens to ‘go home’ and just a week after an American Airlines flight attendant made an African American doctor ‘cover up’ before being allowed to fly home to the Caribbean.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — If Trump is re-elected, Richard Branson will be very busy flying us all to other planets.

  2. Classic move by the FA. Honestly getting sick of FAs power tripping whenever they’re slightly annoyed with people who did nothing wrong.

  3. This is not unusal with AA or the other US airlines. As a partner in a mixed race marriage, we encounter discrimination on a regular basis. Most of the time we ignore it, until we can’t..

  4. @amapas Racism and surly flight attendants are not a new issue and unfortunately will never be fixed.

    The other problem is that people dont realize is racism isnt just about black and white, there are other “colors” of people who suffer racism.

  5. I am asian and I believe this has nothing to do with Trump. I intend to travel back and forth and dont see any problems.
    Making America Great again and again please.

  6. As an asian American and proud citizen of this great nation, I thank my president for embracing our beautiful legal immigration system and fighting back those lawless people advocating for lawless open border policy. He is a pro immigrant and this has nothing to do with Trump.

  7. @ktc – you’re insane!
    @jim – you’re insane!

    ‘Nuff said.

    (and I kinda doubt either of you is Asian…just sayin’)

  8. The world is becoming insane seeing racism everywhere.

    Why would anyone think the FA saying “you people” to a sick asian woman would refer to her race rather then to “you passengers” or “you sick passengers”?

    Can anyone really believe that “I’ve been treating you Asian passengers for 30 years” is more probable and makes any sense at all in this context (like “you Asians are sick all the time”)?

    Come on, you people!

  9. Tha family was breaking the plane and cursing on people and the crew member with kids around. I was on this flight.

  10. The mistake here is assuming that AA actually cares about transportation or customer service. They could care less. I suppose they don’t mind if you eventually get somewhere at some point but it is irrelevant to their business model. Once they have sold you a ticket that is now your problem to stumble around and get where you want to go. Their motto is “go away son, you bother me.”

  11. As a frequent traveler around the world, I stopped using American Airline for any of my trips because of a stupid incident and the arrogance of the flight attendant. I was in the First Class with my wife, traveling from New York to Logan Airport in Boston to catch a plain to Paris. The Flight attendant asked us if we wanted anything. My wife asked for a glass of water and I asked for a Scotch on the rocks. The flight attendant walked to the two Gentlemen who were seated in 1 “A” and “B” and sat on the arm-rest of seat “B” to chat and laugh with the gentlemen. I didn’t want to cause any problems so I kept quite waiting for our drinks. When the Pilot announced the descent of the plane to Logan Airport, the flight attendant brought the drinks. To avoid any unpleasant accident, I returned the drinks and said “it was too late to drink while the plane is in the process of landing. The Flight Attendant yelled at me and said something like “you did not deserve her service and that I was RUDE”. I did not react. She went straight to the Captain to report my action. I expected the Captain to say something to me. What the Captain did was to “SMILE and say: have a good trip”. Apparently, the Pilot knew his Flight Attendant’s attitude and did not want to add insult to injury. THAT INCIDENT HAPPENED ALMOST 15 YEARS AGO AND SINCE……American Airline name was deleted from my travel list.

  12. AA has over 100K people and like DL and UA and BA and the list goes on, they can’t control EVERYTHING stupid people do. I fly AA a lot and as well as DL and the crews I encounter on both are great people, if you treat them like people which a lot of people who think they are privileged do not.

    Was the FA out of line, yes. Should this be addressed, yes. Is it being addressed, yes. Should we expect everyone to be perfect, fantastic employees and respect each other and the customer. . .yes, but it just doesn’t happen.

    With the nightmare that is social media, we hear about the bad, but for each bad example, there are thousands of good ones, you never hear about. Also, it takes two to tango, so the blame is 50/50 in almost all these accounts.

    Once we stop sensationalizing these idiots with iphones, we might find a kindler, gentler nation and world.

    Gary, for each negative story, you need to find 10 positive ones, like the celebration of 1 million miles.

  13. sunviking, at someone with just over 900,000 butt in seat miles on AA, I have to disagree. The only thing that a million miles proves is that we are masochists. FA’s have completely forgotten their job. I am confident that AA management is a significant factor, but with so many other service opportunities out there, I don’t see any reason to continue my quest. Please go find 10 good stories, I believe the ratio is the reverse of what you suggest. AA doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about cancelling people, lying to them, delaying them, and beating them into order for their own return to shareholders.

  14. Mark , that was tinker’s dam , a device to aid in casting . Although I have heard of others the only one I have seen in use was a piece of cotton rope (by plumbers) AA doesn’t give a dam or a damn either I agree.

  15. If you were not on this aircraft, dont comment on something you know nothing about. And no one does hate better than Democrats. Look at the way they have treated our President. So disgusted.

  16. Gary said: “context of national attention surrounding comments telling people who are U.S. citizens to ‘go home’”. Gary, why don’t you go in the front door and say what you really think about Trump.

    On the comments here. Liberals have subconscious but strong biases against Asian. Let me give you some examples:
    –De Blasio, and his liberal cohorts, have been pushing for racial balance in the high schools including the famous Stuyvesant, Bronx School of Science, and Brooklyn Technical. Around 74% of the students at Stuyvesant are Asian. That means he wants to toss out the Asians and replace them with other races. Selective colleges already make it more difficult for Asians to attend due soft quotas.
    –TraderGuy’s were particularly offensive. He is saying that Asian Americans cannot support Trump. WTH. Where do you get off telling Asians who that can or can not support.
    –I was in a book group with a bunch of liberal New Yorkers, mostly women. The book was “I Love Yous Are for White People: A Memoir”, by Luc Su. Luc Su as a child was a boat person that moved to Los Angeles. Later on, he joined a Vietnamese gang. He turned his life around and become PHD. I was commenting that Vietnamese gang in the 70s and 80s were among the most violent and feared. Members of my book group started mocking me. Apparently, Vietnamese do not look tough enough.
    –In addition, the women in my book group seem think the only reason White men date Asian women, is because Asian women are obedient. [LOL: Like Tiger woman is obediant.]
    –In fact, I was in a seminar about stereotypes at work. It was intended to show natural bias against women. Guess who the computer guy was. Right an Asian.
    –Most liberals lump all Asians (except Indians) into one big category. Culturally there a really big difference between Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Malaysian Chinese, Indonesian…cultures.
    –The movie “Memoirs of a Geisha.” Why did Hollywood cast Ziyi Zang (mainland Chinese) and Michelle Yeoh (Malaysian Chinese) as the two main leads. Couldn’t they have found Japanese women to play Geisha
    –Asian American men often claim that white women do not think they are manly enough.
    — Biden: “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they’re not competition for us.” Notice the implicit condescension by a White guy in that statement.
    –In fact, someone may have thought that the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, but Kevin Kwan was a copy of Coming to America. Seriously.

  17. People tend to make bogus and elevated claims when they are angry. Anytime someone doesn’t get their way they use the race card. Doesn’t work for me. I assume someone is lying unless proven otherwise when they bring up the race card. Very often it is the same story when someone writes something on a dorm door or writes something on a receipt: many of these cases are proven false and the person bringing up race did it to get attention, money or discredit who they don’t agree with.

  18. I read the tweet and its clear that the family is claiming that she made the comment after they confronted her and called her rude AFTER she had exited the plane and that the FA did not say it when the mother was ill trying to dispose of her vomit on the plane as is implied in your article. Also, if you look at the family member who is posting the tweet you see that she also posted about other articles of racism at AA before this even happened, other links to anti-trump articles and other posts about far left politicians and has a long history of making posts about racial articles. Given all that I think we need to take what she claims with a GIANT grain of salt instead of just assuming its all true, because this is a person with a clear political bias and the so-called racial remarks weren’t caught on camera and at the time of the filming they were just claiming she was rude.

  19. Wouldn’t surprise me if @ktc, @jim and Alain attend Rump’s KKK rallies…Notice all three racist comments are one after the other….a Klan meeting perhaps?

  20. Gabe Labbad you really just embarrassed yourself with that whiney tale. What an infantile little man. Get a life, boo. You are holding a grudge 15 YEARS later over airplane scotch? How sad for you.

  21. Every customer, flier, flight crews can work to make life, career hard for #CustomsCarol.

  22. Our president is doing a fantastic job. It is the socialist-democrats that have chosen to be obstructionists particularly so with illegal immigration. Case in point, “There is no border crisis, it is manufactured.” Followed by, “Oh my, Border Security are running concentration camps and conditions are unthinkable.” And of course, many of the those calling out the conditions at the southern border were the very congressmen that did NOT of vote for approval of a bi-partisan bill to provide relief for those very people.

  23. Really, Gary Leff??? It’s President Trump’s fault that a FA was rude to a passenger???? You people (and by that, I mean those with TDS) just can’t accept that he won the election. Get over it, already.

  24. I find it amazing that some people have to blame everything that is said or goes wrong on President Trump. How ridiculous is it to do so. Trump is doing a great job in spite of what the Democrats are doing to block him from running the country.

  25. Gary-

    AA is not perfect. Neither are all passengers. Obviously the truth lies somewhere in between most times.

    I’m confused why you chose to make this political. Our President wishes to ensure ILLEGAL immigration is corrected.




  26. I’m busy helping get Trump re-elected, then I’ll help you pack to head to whatever country you prefer to the U.S.

  27. Ridiculous comments connected to Trump. Absolutely no proof the FA comments were related to Trump. You are no better than her. SHAME!!!!!

  28. I’ll donate all my AAdvantage Miles to Trump haters who promise to leave the USA and never come back.

  29. Dear Lord give me strength.
    As you can see a poster was on the flight and saw what this family did and as an Airline employee he is not joking, what he said is true. For the fellow who hasn’t flown AA since he didn’t get his drink in time for landing, i’m sure AA misses you terribly. PAX behave badly every day and expect to be treated like they are untouchable. Nope, not happening.

    Since the race to the bottom to rake in revenue like Spirit did, all the carriers now have the cheapest tickets and the most entitled PAX who act like they paid a fortune and expect 5 star treatment when the reality is to make money the airlines do ala carte now, and you get exactly what you pay for. Basic economy you get a free seat which is the middle, if you want aisle you pay. If you’re lucky they ran out of middles you may get the window or aisle, but to change to sit next to your family and friends you pay to change or you sit with what you got. Read your fare rules, ignorance is not an excuse. Gate agents will NOT fall for your claustrophic rants, you’ll just get denied boarding when you say you’ll freak out if you stay in the middle seat. If you buy First class you get first class treatment, no question. If you buy a $50 Basic economy seat, then stop right now. There is basic economy on International to compete with Norweigan, same deal. Don’t come to airport thinking you can finagle the agent to give you something you didn’t pay for, you won’t. Cause a big enough fuss and you ain’t flying.

  30. Welcome to divided America. And yes, to those supporting the diatribes of the person who is seating (temporarily) in the White House: he started the whole insulting those who do not think like him and promote hate. We will regret this time,, I am afraid (remember that little thing called civil war, started under the same premise that “I am right, and you are wrong”
    Gary Leff, you have the same name as a good friend of mine. I think these comments will not affect your dedication to make those of us who spend hours in the sky, to have a better view of the ground underneath us.

  31. The AA flight attendant was not being racist. By “you people” she certainly could of meant old people, whiny people, customers in general. Have any if you worked in retail and had to deal with the public face to face? You see the same “people” acting the same way on a daily basis and it gets tiresome, old, and down right pisses you off in the way they are acting. Look at it from the other side; put yourself in their shoes. Mahalo.

  32. To all the tRUMPTEERS, get your Orange overalls ready. The Pied Piper is going to take you all to the promised land called GITMO, where you guys and gals can gloat all you want. BTW, if Cuba won’t let Agent Orange and all his cronies, take a boat and sink in unison in the Atlantic. Y’ll’s hero is a tripster as well. Good luck MASA’.

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