Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
So many airlines secretly smiled when United Airlines became the symbol of passenger mistreatment.
After all, it had dragged a bloodied 69-year-old David Dao off a plane, even though he'd paid for his ticket -- and all so that its own employees could get on the flight.
Many airline executives knew, however, that this could have happened on their own airline and something akin to it just might.
So we have the latest incident, this time on an American Airlines flight from San Francisco to Dallas.
All the details aren't available. What exists, however, is a Facebook video taken by Surain Adyanthaya.
Even before you look at the video (see below), Adyanthaya's words seem alarming: "OMG! AA Flight attendant violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby on my flight, hitting her and just missing the baby. Then he tried to fight a passenger who stood up for her. AA591 from SFO to DFW."
The video, which has already been viewed by more than 1.7 million people, doesn't show the alleged incident with the mother. However, she's holding her children and is extremely upset.
A male passenger, clearly unhappy with the way the cabin crew are handling the incident, remonstrates with a male flight attendant. The flight attendant challenges the passenger to a fight.
"You stay out of this!" he barks at the passenger. Also: "Hit me! You don't know what the story is."
Yes, it's come to this. WWE on AA.
Wisely, American Airlines didn't try to defend the flight attendant's actions. Perhaps its lawyers are familiar with how United tried to defend its staff and their unconscionable behavior.
"We have seen the video and have already started an investigation to obtain the facts. What we see on this video does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers. We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident. We are making sure all of her family's needs are being met while she is in our care. After electing to take another flight, we are taking special care of her and her family and upgrading them to first class for the remainder of their international trip," said American in a statement.
The company added that: "The American team member has been removed from duty while we immediately investigate this incident."
It seems, then, that the airline has reacted in a sane manner.
Adyanthaya, however, insists that the airline staff behaved disgracefully.
"They just involuntarily escorted the mother and her kids off the flight and let the flight attendant back on, who tried to fight other passengers. The mom asked for an apology and the AA official declined," he wrote on Facebook.
If more videos emerge, this could still take several turns.
A passenger on the flight, Olivia Morgan, told Fox 13 that the flight attendant has been "violent."
"He stormed by me with the stroller and I said something like, 'What are you doing? You almost hit that baby!' And he yelled at me to 'stay out of it!' just like he does in the video," she said.
At the very least, it seems that the male flight attendant behaved aggressively.
The root cause of some such incidents, however, is that air travel in coach has become more and more unpleasant. Conditions are ever more cramped, staff feel ever more pressured, as well as often being grossly underpaid. They have become impromptu police officers, quick to behave unpleasantly and even call for reinforcements.
Meanwhile, airlines proudly announce they're going to stuff more seats onto planes, making life for both passengers and crew even more uncomfortable.
Because, surprise, they think they can make more money.
One last thing might come to mind. American Airlines is the company that had the myopic gall to release an ad campaign last year. It appealed to customers to behave better on flights.