American Airlines Uses Secret Policy To Ban Passenger From Flight
American Airlines uses secret policy to ban passengerfrom flight because the customer believed that the gate agent was being impolite. American Airlines refused to allow him to board his trip from Austin to New York JFK.
The guy wasrecording the gate agent. The agent didn't like that he was filming, so he asked for a supervisor, who ultimately decided that he couldn't let him board the plane.
They determined that recording airline staff was a violation of the company's policies, despite the fact that these policies are confidential and are not disclosed anyplace that consumers may see them.
After calling the police and having an officer verify that the passenger wasn't breaking the law, the passenger still wasn't permitted to board the aircraft.
It would appear that the disagreement started when the passenger attempted to bring aboard the plane two bags that the gate attendant considered to be carry-ons (rather than the permitted carry-on bag and personal item).
The passenger claims that the agent requested that they combine their belongings into a single bag. The traveler did so; however, it was later determined that the luggage was too large to be permitted on board, and the passenger was requested to check the bag.
At that point, the irate passenger began filming the agent, which caused the agent to object. They informed the police officer that they are willing to gate check the luggage and that they simply want to travel.
They also told the officer that they were recording in order to identify the agent about whom they wanted to file a complaint with the airline. The passenger proposed that the video be removed in exchange for being allowed to continue their journey.
They were not allowed to board the plane, rebooking was not an option, and they were informed they could ask for a refund. Meanwhile, another customer crouching near the bag sizer at the airport claims the worker shoved her.
Shooting in public is not unlawful, and there are no restrictions imposed by the FAA or the Department of Transportation on filming within an airport or on board an aircraft. Even at TSA security checkpoints, filming is authorized as long as "the screening process is not interfered with or sensitive information is not revealed."
However, American Airlines implemented a policy prohibiting staff photography in 2014, which was only publicized in their on-board American Way magazine at the time. They have no signs informing passengers of this, and it is not included in their contract of carriage or on their website. This policy was discontinued by the magazine two years ago.
Is a hidden policy that contradicts ordinary cultural practice, in which passengers video things with their phones at whim (and even tag the airline on social media on a regular basis without being notified they've broken any rules), truly a policy at all?
Furthermore, the right to film is critical. David Dao would never have received justice after being pulled off a United Express aircraft and bloodied if the event had not been captured on film. United originally backed Chicago Aviation Police and apologized to other passengers who had been harmed by Dao's actions.
Employees understandably dislike being recorded while performing their duties. They're in public places, engaging with members of the public, yet most of the persons recording would want the positions to be reversed! Still, implementing a regulation that customers are unaware of seems... troublesome.