American Airlines has apologized after one of its employees reportedly called a New Jersey man a “killer” during a baggage dispute partially caught on video, according to NorthJersey.com, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.
Theresia Tirado and her husband, Michael, were trying to reclaim a lost bag after their flight was redirected to Memphis International Airport. An American Airlines agent tasked with trying to get their bag back was not being helpful, Theresia told news station WREG Memphis.
She said Michael told the attendant that he was “basically useless,” which sparked a back-and-forth argument in which Michael told the attendant he was a police officer, according to WREG Memphis. The attendant then called Michael a “killer” in front of the couple’s two sons, she said.
“You’re a cop. That means you’re a killer,” Theresia claims the agent said, which is when Michael started recording. According to public records, Michael is a state correctional officer.
“He might kill me because he’s a police officer who called me useless,” the attendant is heard saying in the video, which was posted on Twitter by Theresia but has now been made private.
In a statement, American said the airline had reached out to the Tirado family.
“What we see in the video is extremely concerning: In our culture, every interaction with a customer or team member should be grounded in respect. That’s not what we saw here,” the statement said.
The airline declined to comment on discipline of the employee; however, Theresia told WREG that the airline assured her Thursday that the employee was undergoing customer service training.
The Tirados could not be reached for comment on Friday.
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