A couple of Southwest Airlines pilots may have made commercial jet lavatories even more disgusting.
AZ Central reports Southwest Airlines flight attendant Renee Steinaker visited the cockpit while working WN1088 from Pittsburgh to Phoenix on February 27, 2017.
In a federal lawsuit filed in District of Arizona, Ms. Steinaker claims she was summoned so the flight’s captain, Terry Graham, could use the restroom. (Safety policy dictates at least two crew members must be present on the flight deck at all times.)
That’s when things allegedly became creepy.
Ms. Steinaker spotted an iPad mounted to the cockpit windshield. Livestreaming on the tablet was a hidden camera feed — of Captain Graham in the lavatory.
The pilots’ in-flight entertainment was purportedly watching passengers and flight attendants use the bathroom.
Sounds like they forgot to turn the channel before Ms. Steinaker entered the cockpit.
Co-pilot Ryan Russell “looked panicked” after apparently being caught.
His excuse for the lav’s hidden camera? They were a “new top-secret security measure that had been installed in all Southwest Airlines planes.”
Steinaker called his bluff and used her cell phone to take a photo of the reputed Peeping Pilots’ broadcast.
The Phoenix New Times says “Graham and Russell allegedly bolted from the plane as soon as it landed, violating protocol, before taking a brief layover in Phoenix and flying out to Nashville.”
Ms. Steinaker’s attorney, Ronald Goldman, said Southwest representatives claimed Russell and Graham were playing a practical joke on her.
“Let’s assume, just for the sake of argument, and I’m not adopting by any means the accuracy of the claim, that they thought this would be a funny joke to spring on the flight attendants,” Goldman said. “This is a classic example of sexual harassment in my opinion. This is a classic example of a hostile work environment where your superior is suggesting to you with physical evidence the possibility he is observing you while you were using the bathroom, while you were disrobing.”
Ms. Steinaker is suing Southwest for invasion of privacy, intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress, sexual harassment, and retaliation.
What became of the pilots? According to the New Times, the lawsuit states the two men are still operating Southwest flights.
If the pilots did indeed watch people use the bathroom, that seriously violates not only common decency — but the trust passengers placed in their hands.
What did the pilots do when children used the lav? Have the “courtesy” to stop the live feed and then resume when adults entered?
It also leads me to wonder how many times this little stunt has occurred on other flights.
Using airplane lavatories isn’t exactly pleasant. Hoping your flight’s pilots aren’t watching you during very private moments shouldn’t be a concern.
H/T: New York Post
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