The incident involving American Eagle flight attendant Jose Serrano was caught on video. Flight 4607 to Raleigh-Durham, N.C., was delayed for five hours on Monday.
Port Authority police were called to the plane.
American Airlines apologized for the incident. It said in a statement it did "not believe that the passengers' frustrations were always met with the level of service that we expect from our people."
Serrano was removed from the plane. There were no arrests.
The incident recalled a similar episode involving a JetBlue attendant last year who swore at passengers and pulled the emergency chute on a flight after it landed at Kennedy Airport.