Bloomberg News

AMR Attendant Said to Shout About Crash Before Being Subdued by Passengers

March 09, 2012

An American Airlines (AMR) flight attendant forced a jet to return to the gate at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport after shouting about a crash and having to be subdued by passengers, a law enforcement official said.

The attendant was taken to a hospital for evaluation, along with a coworker who was injured, said the official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. She was restrained after making comments about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and union issues, along with discussing a crash, the official said.

Airport police aren’t seeking state criminal charges, said David Magana, a D-FW spokesman. Flight 2332 was waiting to take off for Chicago with 144 passengers and five crew members when the incident occurred, AMR Corp. (AAMRQ)’s American said.

Tim Smith, a spokesman for Fort Worth, Texas-based American, declined to discuss details beyond saying the incident on the Boeing Co. (BA) MD-80 jet involved “some of the cabin crew.” The airline is investigating, he said.

Passengers were put on another flight to Chicago that left Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport at 9:46 a.m. local time, about 80 minutes after Flight 2332 originally pushed back from the terminal. They were never in any danger, Smith said.

‘Nonviolent Confrontation’

The episode was an “unfortunate but nonviolent confrontation involving a flight attendant,” the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said in an e-mailed statement. Details remain sketchy, Jeff Pharr, a union spokesman, said in the statement.

American and the union are negotiating concessions that include 2,300 attendant job cuts being sought by the airline under its bankruptcy restructuring plan. The third-largest U.S. carrier wants to freeze pensions and change work rules and benefits.

Airport police met the plane when it taxied back to the gate, according to Magana, the airport spokesman.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation “assessed the situation and determined there was no need” for any further inquiry, said Lydia Maese, a spokeswoman. The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into the case, said Elizabeth Cory, a spokeswoman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mary Schlangenstein in Dallas at maryc.s@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net


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