FAA investigating flight attendant's confrontation over intercom



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Posted on June 28, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 29 at 4:28 PM

DALLAS - An American Eagle flight attendant was recorded on video during a crude confrontation with frustrated airline passengers this week.

"We will not hear anything," said Jose Serrano, an American Eagle flight attendant, over the aircraft's intercom as the plane sat on the ground. "If you have balls, this is your time, otherwise you're going to have to fly with Jose."

"The New York Post" first published video of the ordeal.

Serrano was one of two flight attendants assigned to Flight 4607 from New York's LaGuardia airport to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina on Monday.

But News 8 has learned the other side to this story.

Passengers were clearly frustrated after they boarded Flight 4607 late on Monday. Bad weather then backed up crowded airplanes on the taxiways until finally the captain had to return to the gate to refuel.

"Unfortunately our hands are tied," the captain told travelers over the intercom.

That's apparently when the situation boiled over, as Serrano reportedly confronted passengers angry over the flight delays.

"What?" one traveler is heard saying on the video to an airport worker, questioning what was happening. "This guy is the one who's been doing it. He's threatened multiple people on this aircraft. He said he has nothing left to lose."

"We do not believe that the passengers frustrations were always met with the level of service that we expect from our people, and for that we are truly sorry," said Ed Martelle, spokesman for Fort Worth-based American Eagle.

But one witness told News 8 that passengers actually provoked Serrano.

"I felt bad for him," said Jon Wurster, a passenger on Flight 4607.

Wurster told News 8 that passengers appeared to berate Serrano over the flight delays.

Another traveler e-mailed American Eagle the same thing. That passenger said the flight attendant was the one "verbally abused" from people who seemed to want "free flights," according to an e-mail with the name redacted that the airline shared with News 8.

The captain called police after parking the plane, but no one got arrested. The flight was eventually canceled, Martelle said, because the crew had used up all their hours waiting to depart.

The FAA confirmed it is now investigating what happened as well.

American Eagle said it continues to review the incident, but confirmed with police and gate agents that Serrano had not been drinking, like some thought.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com