AA has distanced itself from a video that supposedly shows members of its cabin crew singing the song “Big Spender” to a man meant to portray one of its elite customers at private event. The airline said it did not sanction this performance, but APFA has called for an investigation into this video.
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) has called for an investigation into a video that shows American Airlines‘ (AA) staff performing the song “Big Spender” to a man who is intended to be portraying one of the carrier’s elite frequent flier customers, CNBC reports. The video came to light over the weekend and was posted on Twitter by Jamie Larounis, who pens The Forward Cabin blog.
APFA represents AA’s cabin crew staff.
The video itself, which reportedly depicts women dressed as members of cabin crew, has since been removed from public view at the carrier’s request.
In a tweet, Larounis stated, “…the people in the skit were on the payroll of AA. They have an out of work group called Salute where they perform at shows. The skit was not sanctioned by AA and no one viewed it prior to show.”
Larounis also added further clarification in another tweet, stating, “…this was NOT an American Airlines sanctioned event and was held on private property as part of a private group. AA did not sanction this event…”.
It is reported that the performance was put on as part of a private charitable event.
In an official statement quoted by the outlet, AA said, “What was portrayed in the skit was not sanctioned by the airline and is not representative of the 27,000 professional flight attendants who take great care of millions of customers each year.”
“We spoke to the customer who posted the original video and shared our concerns that the actions depicted in the skit he witnessed are demeaning to our professional flight attendants and crew members throughout the industry. We are thankful that he listened to our concerns and that he agreed to remove the video,” the carrier added.
However, APFA president Lori Bassani called for an investigation into the performance. In a statement quoted by CNBC, she said, “This cannot be happening in today’s environment. We will not tolerate our profession being objectified in a sexist manner. We want the facts about the company’s involvement and we want answers.”