Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News
An American Airlines flight attendant went on an emotional rant over the public address system on a flight leaving DFW Airport. Cellphone video from a passenger shows a female flight attendant and an off-duty pilot who sitting in first class try to calm down their agitated co-worker.
There were several tense moments aboard American Flight 2332 from Dallas to Chicago Friday morning as a flight attendant went on a rant about the plane crashing.
The pilot was taxiing the plane to the runway when one of the flight attendants began to address the passengers over the public address system. While that is normal, what she allegedly said was anything but.
Bethany Christakos, of Dallas, who was seated toward the rear of the plane, said passengers started "freaking out" as one of the flight attendants gave a rambling, 15-minute speech on the plane's public-address system.
"She said, 'I'm not responsible for this plane crashing,"' Christakos said.
The woman's co-workers tried to restrain her and take the microphone from her hand, but she snatched it back and continued with her rant, passengers told NBC News.
"At that point, they were trying ... she'd made enough announcements, errant announcements, over the PA that they were trying to get the PA away from her," said passenger Stephen Tremunde. "She snatched it back, became very aggressive. At that point, the other flight attendants became physically engaged."
Passengers eventually assisted the flight attendants in restraining the woman as the pilot returned the plane to the gate.
"We grabbed her arms and there were about four of us, five of us including the flight attendant, who sat her back down in my seat ... and held her there, restrained," said Tremunde.
Back at the gate, the flight attendant was taken into custody by local law enforcement before being hospitalized for minor injuries.
"I'm just thankful we weren't in the air. It could have been much worse," said Tremunde.
At about 11:15 a.m., American Airlines issued the following statement.
This morning Flight 2332 had left the gate at DFW bound for Chicago, when an incident occurred involving some of the cabin crew. The aircraft returned to the gate, where it was met by Department of Public Safety officers. Two flight attendants were taken to local hospitals for treatment. We continue to investigate the details and circumstances and will have no further comment at this time.
We will ensure that the affected flight attendants receive proper care, and we commend our other crew members for their assistance in quickly getting the aircraft back to the gate so that customers could be re-accommodated. Our customers were not in danger at any time.
The cabin crew was replaced. The flight departed for Chicago at 9:46 a.m., and is scheduled to land around noon. We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers and we appreciate their patience and understanding.
Officials with DFW Airport said no state criminal charges are being considered at this time.