A family with a 7 week old baby was kicked off their American Airlines Charlotte to Philadelphia flight on Saturday after a disagreement with flight attendants. They were called ‘rude’ and ‘disruptive’ but it appears to have stemmed from a misunderstanding as the baby’s mother got up from her seat to accommodate another passenger. They reportedly had to wait around the airport for eight hours before being accommodated on a new flight home.
Here’s video of the family being kicked off of the flight, as they disagree with the crew’s characterizations of their behavior and plea for sanity and compassion.
The video doesn’t show what happened prior to the confrontation. It wouldn’t – there wouldn’t have been a reason to film that. However it’s certainly believable that there was a misunderstanding.
There have been so many ‘passenger behaving badly’ stories – at much higher levels during the pandemic – a mix of stressful times, more leisure passengers and fewer business travelers, and the politicization of masks. We’ve seen flight attendants attacked by passengers. So many cabin crew have their backs up, and on something of a hair trigger, rather than focused on compassion.
Add in the airline’s removal of a gate agent on flights that aren’t full, there’s less screening of passengers going on before they board the aircraft. And the airline’s focus on exact on-time departures. The path of least resistance is going to be ‘ready fire aim’. And people bring their assumptions, preconceptions, and different communication styles with them onto the aircraft.
Here’s the discussion after they were removed from the aircraft
According to a spokesperson for American Airlines,
We are aware of an incident involving a family traveling with us from CLT to PHL on Sunday, Dec. 5. We are working to understand what took place onboard and a member of our team has reached out to the customers for more information.
This doesn’t appear to be “caring for people on life’s journey” but it seems they were kicked off before they’d done anything wrong which might at least qualify as “passionately pursuing efficiencies.”