In a video released to TikTok, a flight attendant onboard an American Airlines flight bound for Charlotte was seen scolding passengers who verbally attacked crew members after being instructed to put on a face mask when the flight was diverted to Raleigh due to weather.
In the viral video, a 22-year-old male on a Monday trip from Los Angeles to Charlotte, North Carolina, insults a female flight attendant, calling her “a fat gorilla,” and hurled obscenities at her after she instructed him to wear a face mask.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Brent Underwood, a North Carolina man who recorded the incident, calls out the inappropriate behavior, “there was absolutely no excuse for it,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what you look like. Everybody deserves respect. And everybody deserves to be punished equally for being a rude person like that. Why would you call a person a fat gorilla?” he said.
Another flight attendant informed passengers the flight would land in Raleigh when it was refueled. Meanwhile, a sarcastic passenger said that the flight was diverted because the flight attendants hadn’t eaten.
“Give them a Snickers,” a passenger yelled.
Despite being “insulted and mistreated,” the male flight attendant addressed passengers, claiming they had done their best to please passengers on the flight.
“We’re just trying to go to Charlotte. But shame on the passengers that have made this flight a living hell for the flight attendants,” the flight attendant said.
The Charlotte Observer received a statement from American Airlines promoting its health and safety policies and encouraging passengers to be respectful of crew members.
“We take the health and safety of our customers seriously, and our crew members work hard to uphold the federal mask mandate that remains in effect on aircraft and in airports,” the company said in their statement adding. “We value the trust our customers place in our team to care for them throughout their journey, and we expect those who choose to fly with us to treat each other—and our team members—with respect.”
According to the report, none of the passengers were detained or removed.