American Airlines Senior VP Makes Complaint Over Crew Service During Flight

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Summary

  • An American Airlines executive filed a service complaint against flight attendants for supposedly not serving him the drinks he wanted.
  • The incident sparked social media outrage, highlighting tensions between airline leadership and cabin crew.
  • Brady Byrnes’ negative interactions with cabin crew have been chronic.

A bizarre incident recently occurred onboard what one would expect to be a routine flight from American Airlines’ fortress hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Denver International Airport (DEN). Rarely do high-level executives and cabin crew interact negatively, but that is apparently what transpired onboard this flight.

Brady Byrnes, American’s Senior Vice President of Inflight and Premium Guest Services, who was traveling with his family at the time, was apparently unsatisfied with the quality of service onboard the aircraft. Reportedly, he even wrote up the crew for failing to provide an acceptable standard of service.

This incident follows closely on the heels of multiple events that have increasingly strained the relationship between American and its crew members. Next week, the union that represents the carrier’s flight attendants has a meeting scheduled with the National Mediation Board, which will determine whether or not the federal government will allow them to strike.

The specifics of the incident

According to View From The Wing, the incident has sparked outrage on social media, with many flight attendants referring to the allegations from Byrnes as both false and petty. Specifically, the incident has sparked further friction between the airline’s leadership team and cabin crew during a critical moment.

American Airlines staff

Photo: American Airlines

Despite him and his family receiving their choice of beverages, Byrnes still lodged a service complaint against the flight attendants onboard the aircraft. Apparently, the cabin crew even served everyone onboard the aircraft even when the captain had initially restricted inflight services due to anticipated turbulence.

Following standard operating protocol, flight attendants did not provide hot drinks during the service, which may have upset the complaint-filing Byrnes. Brady ordered a Coke Zero and a cranberry juice for his children, both of which the staff were happy to provide, even pouring out the beverages for his children.

APFA

Photo: APFA

Flight attendants even noted that Byrnes seemed congenial at the time, not displaying any unhappiness until he disembarked from the aircraft and triggered an investigation. Reportedly, the cabin crew in question received emails at 4:00 from the carrier demanding an explanation for their supposedly poor service. American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the situation.

A negative reputation

This is not the first time in which an incident involving Byrnes has come to symbolize the discord between American’s boardrooms and cabin crew. Multiple incidents between the executive and cabin crew have led to backlash, and the flight attendants’ union even approved a vote of no confidence in him back in October 2023.

american airlines staff-1

Photo: American Airlines

In the fall, union leaders confronted Byrnes at the airline’s corporate headquarters, an incident that resulted in a security alert being sent across the carrier’s campus. The airline later apologized for the false alert, but not before images of the confrontation went viral.

Eventually, Byrnes’ Gucci attire was what most cabin crew members came to know him by. Ultimately, he is seen by many as an out-of-touch senior executive who sports luxury clothes while many flight attendants still receive federal support from food stamps.



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