What American Airlines’ crisis response can teach brand managers

The airline recently encountered a reputational nightmare after video of a flight attendant went viral. However, it’s faring better than United. Here’s why.

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American Airlines seems to have learned—largely from United Airlines’ recent tone-deaf response—what not to do in a crisis.

On Friday, American Airlines passenger Surain Adyanthaya posted a video to Facebook of another passenger, who was carrying her baby and crying at the front of the plane.

“AA Flight attendant violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby on my flight, hitting her and just missing the baby,” Adyanthaya wrote.

 

NPR reported:

… [T]he recording does not capture the alleged stroller incident and begins instead with a woman holding a baby and sobbing.

An unidentified male passenger then appears to come to her defense saying, “What’s the guy’s name that did that with the stroller?” An employee comes into the frame and the male passenger says, “You do that to me and I’ll knock you flat.” The two men approach each other, fingers jabbing. The employee repeats, “Hit me,” and the passenger says, “I’ll knock you out.” The captain pulls the employee away.

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