Coworkers of American Airlines flight attendant Louann Giambattista, 55, (photo in NY Post here) may not have “smelled a rat” but they did have suspisions of some sorts that she, a self admitted animal lover, stashed a pet rat (or “rats” plural!?) onto a flight with her in her underwear while on the job.
In February 2012, a pilot claimed he saw a “bulge” in her pocket and a fellow flight attendant suspected she was feeding the stowaway(s) because she was strangely “eating a dinner roll out of a cup,” which seemed odd.
Reports indicated a subsequent search of the suspect for any rodents or other contraband turned up empty. Nevertheless, the allegations led to her passport being blacklisted for a year, requiring searches every time she passed through customs.
Giambattista denies bringing any rodents to work, saying the allegations of her coworkers are “absurd” and “patently false.” She is suing American Airlines in federal court in New York for undisclosed damages due to her stress and anxiety from the incident.
Will the ATSA be able to protect AA from such a lawsuit too!? See my earlier post here on the ATSA’s liability protection for reporting security threats when you really do “smell a rat!”