The world’s largest low-cost carrier is in hot water after two of its pilots allegedly live-streamed a plane’s toilet via a hidden camera.
A flight attendant has filed a lawsuit against two Southwest Airlines pilots who she said she caught watching the live-stream in the cockpit of a 2017 flight from Pittsburgh to Phoenix, BBC News reported.
Renee Steinaker was asked by captain Terry Graham to sit in the cockpit with his co-pilot, Ryan Russell, while he used the toilet, according to the suit, when she noticed an iPad showing a live video feed from the toilet.
Southwest Airlines policy stipulates at least two staff members must be in the cockpit at all times.
Steinaker alleged that Russell told her the camera was a “top-secret security measure” and that she should keep quiet about it. She reported the incident to the airline but claims a supervisor ordered her not to talk about it, allegedly saying that if the incident got out “no one, I mean no one, would ever fly our airline again”.
Southwest told Travel Weekly in a statement that it will vigorously defend the lawsuit.
“When the incident happened two years ago, we investigated the allegations and addressed the situation with the crew involved,” the airline said.
“We can confirm from our investigation that there was never a camera in the lavatory; the incident was an inappropriate attempt at humour which the company did not condone.”
Steinaker’s lawsuit is asking for a minimum of $50,000 ($73,295) in damages from both the airline and the pilots over the incident which her lawyer said caused her significant “harm” resulting in “severe emotional distress”.
According to BBC News, both Russell and Graham continue to pilot commercial flights for Southwest.