American Airlines Apologizes for Photo Shoot During Flight Delay

Airline apologizes, says photo was taken for retiring crew member

American Airlines is issuing apologies Wednesday after a delayed international flight turned into a mini photo shoot for some members of the flight crew.

Last Thursday, American Airlines flight 2126 was scheduled to depart San Jose, Costa Rica, for Dallas shortly before 9 a.m., but it was delayed due to maintenance.

The airline said all customers were offered accommodations for the night because of the delay, and the pilot did walk through the cabin at least once to apologize for the inconvenience.

Passengers were allowed to return to the terminal while mechanics looked at the aircraft.

Brian Kelly, a passenger on the flight, said he sat on the plane for nearly four hours before the flight was ultimately canceled for the night.

During his wait, Kelly said he saw members of the flight crew climbing into the plane’s engine, while one of the pilots snapped photos.

NBC 5 DFW confirmed the person snapping the photos was the flight’s captain. We’re told a flight attendant asked for the photos to be taken because she is close to retirement and she wanted a keepsake for one of her last trips to Costa Rica.

Kelly began snapping photos of the crew from his window seat. He says, “They’re having fun to me. That seemed like an enjoyable time, and I’m stuck in a plane and can’t go anywhere. It just didn’t seem right.”

Andrea Huguely, a spokesperson for American Airlines released a statement Wednesday afternoon: “Our people did their best to accommodate passengers during difficult circumstances, but showed poor timing when they chose to take a commemorative photo. We’re reaching out to every passenger on board that flight to make amends.”

Shortly after that statement was released, Kelly said he received the following email:

June 26, 2013 
Dear Brian: 

We are writing to follow up with you about the situation you encountered as a passenger on our flight 2126 on June 20. We realize that many of our customers' important plans were significantly affected, and for that, we apologize.

In appreciation for your patience, we have added 25,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles to your account. You should see this mileage adjustment in your account very soon, and you can view this activity via our web site,

Your loyalty is important to us and we would like to assure you that we are committed to getting you to your destination as planned. We'll do our best to provide a smooth trip the next time you fly with us. We will look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon.

B. J. Russell  
Customer Relations 
American Airlines 

NBC 5 DFW is also told supervisors have contacted the flight crew, and they are all sincerely apologetic for not only the inconvenience of the delay, but also the timing of the photo.

The flight arrived in Dallas on Friday. American Airlines fronted hotel expenses for the passengers on board.

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