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Pity for flight attendants? One lashes out at NYC passengers

June 29, 2012|By Rene Lynch

Flying is misery for many Americans. You've got those annoying security lines, the cramped seating and the jacked-up prices for a paltry bag of pretzels. But today's news from the skies suggests that passengers aren't the only parties fed up with air travel.

American Eagle flight attendant Jose Serrano was removed from a plane in New York City this week after allegedly lashing out at passengers (a loss of composure caught on video) and challenging them to leave the plane -- if they dared. 

The passengers were irate because the plane had been delayed for five hours by bad weather at LaGuardia Airport. Flight 4607 was heading to Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

Port Authority police were called, and officers took Serrano off the plane, according to the Associated Press, but no arrests were made in the incident.

At least one passenger defended Serrano, saying in an email that he was subjected to "the most horrible display of passenger aggressiveness," according to ABC News, which reported that four passengers were taken off the plane along with Serrano.

American Airlines did not return a phone call seeing comment before this story was posted. But a representative for the airline has apologized for the incident, according to the Associated Press, and issued a statement that said the airline did "not believe that the passengers' frustrations were always met with the level of service that we expect from our people."

The incident is the latest example of tensions between air passengers and the crew members who serve them. Passengers, feeling helpless and frustrated when faced with delays and other irritations, often turn on flight attendants who are equally helpless to make a plane move any faster.

Last year, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater was pushed to the brink when he used the plane's intercom system to curse out an unruly passenger and then deployed an emergency escape slide to get away, beer in hand.

Need more evidence of some of the grief that flight attendants have to put up with? Earlier this year, a flight attendant was caught between a woman who wanted to give herself a manicure, and other passengers complaining about the smell of the nail polish. The woman was arrested for defying the flight attendant and continuing to paint her nails, and cursing at the Southwest Airlines employee.

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ or Twitter. Email: rene.lynch@latimes.com

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