James Moehle and Angela Huckaby, of Houston, were returning home from a vacation in Hawaii when one of their bags was misplaced by the airline. When it was delivered later, a handwritten note attached to the bag read, "Please Text Deaf And Dumb."
Moehle's mother, Kay Moehle, told KTRK-TV in Houston that the note was "outrageous and cruel and unnecessary." She demanded an apology.
Airline spokesman Casey Norton said Friday that the employee who wrote the note did not intend to insult anyone and will go through sensitivity training.
One of the couple's bags was misplaced on the final leg of the couple's journey home, from Dallas to Houston. In such cases, American uses another company to delivery late-arriving baggage to passengers.
Norton said an American employee who is not a native English speaker scrawled the note to alert a delivery driver that he should contact the couple by text message when delivering the bag.
The airline employee "will go through new respect training," Norton said. "We are using it as a systemwide teaching example so that everybody is more respectful of those who have different impairments."
Attempts to reach Moehle and Huckaby were not immediately successful.