Flight attendant’s union to investigate "sexist" American Airlines video

By Steve Frank

/ CBS News

The union that represents flight attendants at American Airlines is calling for an investigation into a video that went viral over the weekend. The union said the video, which featured American Airlines employees in a burlesque-like routine, was "demeaning" to flight attendants and crew members.

The video featured four women dressed as flight attendants singing and dancing to "Big Spender" to a seated man portraying a top tier "Executive Platinum" customer. The skit featured American Airlines' name and logo on a screen.

"This cannot be happening in today's environment. We will not tolerate our profession being objectified in a sexist manner," Lori Bassani, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, said in a statement. "We want the facts about the company's involvement and we want answers."

Flight Attendant Union To Investigate American Airlines Social Media Post: https://t.co/o6RmmddTPK pic.twitter.com/t5MNeJVimv

— CBSDFW (@CBSDFW) February 18, 2019

American Airlines said the skit was performed at a "customer-organized" concert at a private residence. The airline said it did not control the content or preview the agenda.

"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," the airline said in a statement sent to its employees Sunday night. "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."

The video of the skit was posted to Twitter by Jamie Larounis, who writes The Forward Cabin travel blog.

Larounis has since taken the video down, tweeting that the "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."

To make it very clear, 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. The skit was witnessed and posted as shown.

— Jamie Larounis (@TheForwardCabin) February 17, 2019

First published on February 18, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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