Oops: Flight Attendant (Accidentally) Spills Tray Of Drinks On American CEO

Filed Under: American

The @aastews Twitter account shares the story of how flight attendant @maddieryanee accidentally spilled a tray of drinks on American’s CEO, Doug Parker, and it’s sort of a cute story (as much as spilling drinks on someone can be a cute story):

So yesterday I worked a flight from Phoenix to Dallas. I had our CEO (Doug Parker) on my flight. I was just doing my job being the good little flight attendant I am, serving my predeparture drinks.

I have a tray of about 8 drinks on it when the passenger in front of me stops in the aisle and backs up. Hits the tray and the drinks go flying.

Guys I have worked for American Airlines for 4 years, and not once have I ever spilt a drink on a passenger.

Guess who they land on. Half of them were all over me, the other half in Doug’s lap. I WAS MORTIFIED, I wanted to drop dead right there in the aisle. (Like am I still employed?!) Luckily he was cool about it came back and we talked, we joked about it he rest of the flight.

When he was getting off the plane he told me he’d never forget me…. guess that’s a good thing right?

Most people never even meet their CEO let alone shower them in sparkling water and jack and cokes.


As much as I give Doug Parker a hard time for the job he does running American, I’ve long thought that he’s the most genuinely likable of the “big three” airline CEOs. Or perhaps more accurately, if I had to work for a US airline and accidentally spill drinks on a CEO, I’d want it to happen with Parker.

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. It is no secret that often, AA flight attendants don’t bother to serve pre-departure beverages so to get upset at a hard-working flight attendant for trying to do a good job would be cruel. The vast majority of AA’s cabin crews still despise Doug Parker, including some of the nicest crews I have flown with and they have very, very specific of Parker being rude and outright nasty to them (expecting to get served ahead of other first class passengers when other CEOs regularly fly coach to not take revenue away from their premium cabins, not saying hello to the crew, asking for extra headsets, and even giving attitude when flight attendants brief the exit row passengers the few times he has flown coach).

  2. Wouldn’t have happened if he’d had the guts to fly in his own economy-class product…

  3. You think he’s a more genuine and nicer person than Munoz or Bastian? I strongly disagree. Look at the level of fandom surrounding Bastain and Delta events when he holds them around the country. And looks at the relationship Munoz built with front line workers, especially post-Smisek. Parker is the worst of the worst.

  4. Although I have never experienced United, I without doubt love AA. Flew with them in Economy and in Business and never experienced a single issue. All my flights were on time and with excellent onboard staff. Even once in 2017 I was flying with a companion and due to my fault lost the flight from Dallas to Boston. The type of ticket I had didn’t protect no-show. Well we were put on waiting list on the next flight at no cost and I won’t forget this. I love AA despite many critics I read in this blog by some passengers. Guess I have been lucky.

  5. Maybe it was because the seats are so close together….oh wait it must have been in First Class.

    Oh, and what is a Pre-departure Beverage?

  6. @DaninMCI, it’s something that the crew serves to the people in first class while blocking the aisle so others can’t get boarded. The people in front can drink up confidently without worrying about having to use AA’s upright coffin sized lav in back, since they have their own facility.

  7. @DaveS .. actually DaveS, in the 737’s, the First Class lavatory is much smaller than the ones in the back of the plane. I cannot stand straight while doing my business in the first class lav … it is very uncomfortable. The Lavs in back of plane are so much better, I sometimes will walk back to use them (particularly if my back happens to be bothering me that day). So, enjoy knowing your lavs are better from now on and fly with a smile on your face that you are being treated better than us up in First Class.

  8. Maybe Doug could coach certain overseas airline execs that went “nutty” on how to react in a fun and friendly way in such incidents…

  9. 50+ years ago, a flight attendant at Air France during the summers of 68,69 and 70, on a Paris to Nice flight (I still miss the Boeing 707, its noise during take-off gave you the feeling that each take-off was an adventure. That’s gone forever), I intentionally splashed a coach lunch tray all over Waldeck Rochet, Secretary General of the French Communist Party. The man was furious, he was going to deliver a speech near Nice. I regarded it at the time as my contribution to Democracy. The same year I also splashed a whole leg of lamb with tons of gravy in First Class on a Japanese passenger. That time, though, I was mortified. And still, AF kept hiring me summer after summer…

  10. C’mon it’s Doug Parker. A little drink won’t bother him. He is covered with booze since college. He even went to jail for DUI. Just like old times.

    What bothers me is his left hand on her back. Did he, like Joe Biden, use his position of power to push boundaries of personal space?


  11. A Delta First Class Steward dumped a tray of Mimosas on me before take off. They gave me
    wet towels and sent the attendant to the very back. I never saw hin again. I was
    sticky and miserable all the way to Madrid and then on my connecting flight. I should have
    asked for some type of compensation. I did not even ask for a drink.

  12. So Gary WHO would be the CEO you’d most likely want to dump a tray of drinks in his lap? Not accidently I mean…

  13. Sounds like she was coached in how to most effectively serve Doug Parker a drink.

    Cups and glasses merely slow him down!

  14. Funny story. Good thing this happened on American. If it was Korean Air flight the attendant would have been removed from the plane.

  15. Sad to read all of the nasty, negative remarks. Most flight attendants try to help their passengers enjoy the trip. I’m proud to say that I’ve worked at all three airlines that Doug Parker has saved, yes I said saved. They were not bad airlines, simply badly managed. Many people don’t know the whole story or how hard he had to work to save America West and US Airways from liquidation. If you haven’t stood in his shoes, made the hard decisions to keep us flying then keep your nasty opinion to yourself!

  16. @Dee Lowther

    This is one inspiring and heartfelt comment I love to read. I also believe that Doug Parker is one of the best airlines managers and many critics are exaggerated or simply nasty for no reason. Thank you.

  17. @Dee Lowther

    Please share Doug Parkers’ facts.

    I can share many, he follows NWA then or Delta now, and never lead the industry in a good way.

    The only thing he tried to lead is 29″ seat pitch.

    And a CEO with, I believe, 3 DUIs and jail time. That shows his judgment. Maybe he worked too hard, he needed booze.

  18. 48 years ago I spilled tea on one of the first sky marshalls. They didn’t have a formal program in place yet and the USG pulled fire arm qualified folks from FBI, DEA and CIA. And put them on Pan Am and TWA flights. I was the purser working the economy section and had a teapot in one hand and a coffee pot in the other on our Pan Am flight from Paris to JFK. When those blue eyes looked up at me I poured both. The coffee went in the cup the tea went on his poor leg. That was in September 1970. In March 1971 we were married and remain so today.

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