Radio talk show host Glenn Beck criticized an American Airlines flight attendant on his show on Tuesday morning, saying the flight attendant made him feel "subhuman."
Beck had been returning from a Labor Day weekend trip to New York and flew American back to Dallas/Fort Worth airport. On his flight, he said he was not given courteous service and was "barked at."
"I, unlike all of the other passengers, was not offered the option of courteous service. I don’t know why. Did I have to pay more than I paid for my tickets? Is that something that you have to select now you? My flight attendant nearly ‑‑ merely barked the word “breakfast” when he came to me. When others were politely asked if they cared for anything to eat and given the choices, I was just barked at. When he delivered a soda, he slammed it down so hard, I hesitated to even open the can for fear that it would spray all over other passengers in the cabin. By the way, the other passengers, nobody else had to open their can. He opened it and poured it for them. Never once did he look me in the eye. Never once did he offer a kind or even a neutral word to me. I had service unlike I have never had ever before in my life, and I have had rude service before. I lived in New York City. I have never had service that was specifically designed to make me feel subhuman. Oh, I had it. He put on quite a show as he fawned over the other passengers proudly and loudly performing his life story about being a former Israeli soldier and how he was so proud of the very liberal cities in America," Beck said, according to the transcript from his show on Tuesday.
Beck talked at length about what may have motivated this flight attendant for treating him differently and then said.
"I grew up in a family‑run business. 'The customer is always right' is what my father taught me. I wasn’t trying to make a point. I just wanted to be treated as a human. Apparently that’s not the way at American Airlines anymore, unless they vote the way you do, unless you vote the way they do. I lost my cool as I walked off the plane, as I was told I deserved to be treated worse than any airline attendant would have treated a dog. I shouldn’t have lost my temper."
On Tuesday afternoon, American Airlines tweeted "We’re sorry for the experience Mr. Beck had on his trip. We’ve reached out to his office & are actively looking into this."
UPDATE: American has issued this statement: "We are sorry for the experience Mr. Beck had on a recent flight. The comfort and satisfaction of our customers are very important priorities to us and we take these matters seriously. We have reached out to Mr. Beck’s office and are actively looking into the situation."
UPDATE 9/5: Beck continued to discuss his flight experience on his show on Wednesday. He said American should fire the flight attendant and vows to never fly on American again. (Note: American operates 85 percent of the flights out of DFW Airport, the closest airport to Beck's home in Westlake.)
In the Associated Press story posted Wednesday: "These big, stodgy airlines that think they can treat people like garbage - they can't," Beck said during a 14-minute segment on Wednesday's show. He suggested that such poor service could explain why American had to seek bankruptcy protection, yet insisted that he wasn't trying to hurt American and wasn't urging fans to boycott the airline.