Should These 13 Flight Attendants Get Their Jobs Back?
Last July, on a flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong, with more than 300 people on board, the pilots were doing their routine flight inspection when they found a handwritten message scrawled on the tail. It showed two cartoon faces, and the words, “Bye Bye.” The airline did a cursory check of the tail, then cleared the plane to fly. Thirteen flight attendants insisted on a full security check, including a sweep of the plane. United refused, and the flight attendants walked off their jobs. Later, they were fired for insubordination. Now, they are suing to airlines to get their jobs back.
“’It’s common sense to conclude that what is written on the plane is some type of threatening message. Clearly that’s something that has to be taken seriously,’ an attorney for the flight attendants David Marshall said.”
The image scrawled on tail cone of the plane had two faces and the words “Bye Bye.” It was found during the pilots’ routine flight inspection, after which a check of the suspicious area was conducted.
Although no one conducted a full security sweep, the airline said they followed every procedure the FAA required of them:
“’Our flight operations, safety and maintenance teams appropriately investigated and determined there was no credible security threat,’ United spokeswoman Christen David said in a statement.
‘All of FAA’s and United’s own safety procedures were followed, including a comprehensive safety sweep prior to boarding, and the pilots, mechanics and safety leaders deemed the aircraft entirely safe to fly.’”
Since their firing, none of the flight attendants have been able to find work with other carriers, so they have filed a complaint with OSHA asking to be rehired. They continue to maintain they were acting in the best interests of their passengers, and to protect their own safety.
What do you think? Should flight attendants have the right to refuse to fly when they fear for their safety?