A former United Airlines purser has pleaded guilty to to making a false bomb threat against a United flight from Los Angeles to London Heathrow. He could face up to five years in prison and has agreed to pay $250,000 in damages to United.
Court documents suggest Patrick Cau was a disgrunted flight attendant, who worked for United for 15 years and rose to the rank of purser, but left the company after United declined to investigate his claims that a male supervisor sexually harassed him.
On at least six occassions, he phoned in bomb threats from a pay phone near his home in Los Angeles, sometimes calling UA’s crew scheduling line and sometimes calling 911. He would always identify flight numbers and be specific in his descriptions, forcing United to take each of his warnings seriously and leading to delayed or cancelled flights.
Not wanting to leave his trade after his unseemly departure form United, he applied and was accepted as a FA with American Airlines and it was only during the final stages of his training in May that it was discovered he had been added to the no-fly list. That makes being a FA difficult and he was promptly terminated.
What interests me most in this case, and has not surfaced yet, is how Mr. Cau was discovered. What did Cau do to give himself away?