So, I haven’t written for a while, as I have been busy with work and not-travelling. And while I still have things to write about (ring, an engagement, a bank screwing me over) I just felt that I couldn’t not write about this article in Business Insider. Two UA flight attendants sued after being fired in late 2013, and were awarded $800,000 in damages with the potential for more. All over the stupidity of a supervisor and his or her lack of knowledge about safety!
So the two plaintiffs Ruben Lee and Jeanne Stroup were long-time attendants, with over 70 years between the two. Both had exemplary track records, with no complaints.
A supervisor saw them watching a video on an iPad for fifteen minutes and not wearing aprons while serving. The supervisor reported it, and the airline fired them. However, the testimony of the supervisor was the most outrageous. The plaintiff’s attorney compared watching the iPad as less “serious” to lighting a campfire in the airplane bathroom, to which the supervisor disagreed.
The attorney then clarified with a direct line of inquiry: “whether he thought lighting a campfire in the bathroom is as serious as watching an iPad for a few minutes”. To which the supervisor AGREED.
Sometimes I read these articles, and I cannot believe that they’re real. How is it possible that a supervisor, someone who reasonably has been in the airplane and customer service function for at least several years, could possibly think that watching an iPad video for 15 minutes be as serious as lighting a fire in an airplane bathroom? Who raised this person?
Thankfully, the jury saw sense to award the former-United attendants $800,000 in damages, which the plaintiff’s lawyer thinks may increase as well. I am one of those that believes very strongly in punitive measures, and would recommend going for more. The supervisor should be fired and United issuing a full apology. It’s not like their PR is currently clean (with all the incidents in the previous weeks and months) so they could use a win.
Reading articles like this (among many others) makes me quite sad about the state of humankind and the country. Whether we have regressives holding us back, or people like this in control, who either do not know the rules, or cannot think critically, it bothers me to a degree. Hopefully United will undergo mandatory retraining at the very least for this poor hapless soul.
Lastly, if it was as dangerous, surely, surely the FTA would have said something previously, as they did for that Samsung Galaxy Note 7 randomly blowing up and banned from being on planes.
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