An American Airlines employee is in big trouble after misappropriating personal passenger information in a manner which can only be described as super creepy.
Imagine you are sitting in the gate area and all of a sudden receive the following text message:
“Hey, Ashley! How are you?”
Random text messages do show up, but don’t usually include your name.
“I’m good, thank you!”
“Sorry, I’m not sure who this is.”
Then it got creepy:
“BTW I must tell you that you are gorgeous.”
But wait, there’s more:
“You are looking very gorgeous in that gray top today.”
Ashely started to look around the gate area. Was there a friend on her flight? The unknown text messenger then identified himself as Ahmad and said he worked for American Airlines…
She boarded her flight from San Diego to Chicago and then received another message:
“I am on board now. Are you going to Chicago too??”
“Will you join me? I really like you!! Come on join me!!”
Ashley was feeling quite uncomfortable.
“Not ok! Not cool. Leave me alone.”
But Ahmad wasn’t finished yet. He tried another pick-up line:
“Ok it’s up to you, but friendship with me will be very beneficial for you. I can always give you good seats, access to the lounges, and free drinks.”
By now Ashely was scared and flagged down a flight attendant.
Busted In Chicago
After sharing what happened, the flight attendant confirmed Ahmad was an AA employee and expressed outrage and sympathy that Ashley was being hassled.
She also radioed ahead to Chicago, because upon landing AA officials met Ahmad and escorted him off the plane…
The story seems real. The victim is Ashley Barno. She told NBC 7 San Diego:
“I called my sister, and I was crying profusely because I just felt… I mean, the best way to describe it was, I felt naked in a public place.”
American Airlines reached out to her to extend a private apology, but refused to provide more information about Ahmad. Apparently, Ahmad has harassed other passengers too.
Barno is now suing, and I don’t blame her…
Her attorney told NBC 7:
“We’re doing this to send a message to big corporations that this behavior is not acceptable. They have to train their employees better and take better precautions to make sure these things don’t happen again.”
Finally, American Airlines won’t respond beyond acknowledging the issue:
“American Airlines takes the privacy and safety of our customers very seriously. While we can’t discuss details about this individual case, we investigated the allegations and took appropriate action.”
If the story is as Barno described, I’m quite disappointed that American Airlines has not offered a more public apology.
Apparently, Ahmad scoped Ashely out, gathered personal details from her luggage tag, then looked her up in the system, suggesting he is a gate or baggage agent.
I really think Barno’s lawyer gets it right. American Airlines must better train their employees to avoid this sort of appalling behavior. There is simply no excuse for it.