Southwest pilots accused of livestream from bathroom in suit

Southwest pilots accused of livestream from bathroom in suit”

A lawsuit filed against Southwest Airlines by a flight attendant alleges pilots on a 2017 flight had an iPad streaming video from a hidden camera in a bathroom in one of the airline's jets.

The attendant, Renee Steinker, alleged that she discovered the sneaky surveillance during a 2017 flight from Pittsburgh to Phoenix, according to Arizona Central.

Bizarrely, she recalls seeing an iPad attached to the windscreen which appeared to show real-time video of Graham using the toilet.

The co-pilot, Ryan Russel, appeared panicked when he noticed Steinaker making this discovery and allegedly attempted to persuade her that it was a new top-secret security measure.

Ms. Steinaker's lawsuit seeks at least $ 50 000 (£ 38, 000) in Southwest Airlines and the pilots.

According to the court filing, Steinaker took a photograph of the iPad with her cellphone to document the incident.

David Steinaker, Renee's husband and fellow Southwest flight attendant, claim that they are the victims of retaliation after going to airline officials. He tried to convince Steinaker that the iPad and cameras were part of a top-secret security initiative, which Southwest Airlines was participating in.

In a statement, Southwest Airlines told the BBC that the airline "does not place cameras in the lavatories of our aircraft".

In an attempt legitimize it, he said it was a new "top secret" camera system which was being installed on all Southwest's aircraft as a safety precaution. "At this time, we have no other comment on the pending litigation", the airline told the newspaper in a statement. Her attorney, Ronald L.M. Goldman, who is representing her in this case, has described the incident in an interview with USA Today.

Steinaker "became physically ill" at the thought of Graham and Russell watching her disrobe in the lavatory and was unable to work for several days, according to her lawsuit.

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Graham and Russell were permitted to continue onto their next flight and are now still flying with the company.

In court, attorneys for the pilots have denied that the two engaged in livestreaming the lavatory.

Around two hours into the flight, we 07 February, 2017, Mr Graham asked Ms Steinaker to sit in the cockpit while he went to the toilet, the suit alleges.

This is standard procedure since Southwest Airlines policy requires two flight crew members in the cockpit at all times.

"They led her to believe that she and others had been filmed - had been videotaped if you will - while they were using the lavatory".

When Ms Steinaker complained, a supervisor allegedly told her to keep quiet about it because "if this got out, if this went public, no one, I mean no one, would ever fly our airline again". Steinaker also claims that Graham "left a loaded firearm unattended in the cockpit, a violation of FAA regulations".

Steinaker and other crew members reported the incident to the airline, but were reportedly told not to speak of it. It stated the Steinakers were subject to an increased number of performance audits.

"The cockpit of a commercial airliner is not a playground for peeping toms", Mr Goldman said in a statement.

"Southwest will vigorously defend the lawsuit", the airline said.

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