Published June 29, 2012
A flight attendant on a weather-delayed plane at New York's LaGuardia Airport yelled at passengers and dared them to leave the plane if they had "the balls" to do it.
American Eagle flight attendant Jose Serrano was heard telling passengers over the intercom, "If anyone has the balls to want to get off, I’ll let you get off! Get off!" witnesses told the New York Post.
"I’m not responsible for the weather!" Serrano reportedly yelled. "I don’t care anymore. This is probably my last flight," witnesses quoted Serrano as saying.
The incident happened Monday on board Flight 4607 to Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and was caught on video obtained by the newspaper.
The flight was scheduled to depart at 1:25 p.m., but was reportedly delayed due to rain. Passengers were not permitted to board until 4 p.m. When the flight headed toward takeoff, it got stuck behind 20 other planes on the runway and then eventually turned back to the gate to refuel, according to the newspaper. Passengers were told to get off at the gate. At 6 p.m., they were allowed to reboard but the flight was later cancelled.
American Airlines apologized for the incident, and said in a statement it did "not believe that the passengers' frustrations were always met with the level of service that we expect from our people."
Port Authority police were called to the plane and Serrano was removed. There were no arrests.
"I’ve been in five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan," 47-year-old Army veteran Scott Custer told the Post. "I’ve been in combat and I’ve never felt anxiety like I did sitting on that plane."
The incident recalled a similar episode involving a Jet Blue attendant last year who swore at passengers and pulled the emergency chute on a flight after it landed at Kennedy Airport.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.