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Southwest Airlines B-738 'Secret Lavatory Cameras' Lawsuit

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Southwest Airlines B-738 'Secret Lavatory Cameras' Lawsuit

Old 28th Oct 2019, 09:46
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Mental anguish? Emotional distress? From being pranked?
Meanwhile, in the Third World, people are dying due to Polio and Malaria. Some princess is clearly detached from reality.
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Old 28th Oct 2019, 15:02
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by malr View Post
Even if this is a prank, it's foolish. We now have pilots focused on executing this prank, we have a breakdown in communication and trust between cabin crew and flight-deck. You have cabin-crew focused on this "hidden camera" and possibly losing focus on cabin safety.

All of these factors could (and likely will) come to nothing...but it seems like these pilots just put a bunch of unnecessary holes into the Swiss cheese...
I think you left out an A- in above.

What does not make sense to me in the whole story is why when confronted one of the pilots did not simply say "gotcha" and explain how the prank was done.

Had they done that I doubt we would be hearing about a lawsuit.





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Old 28th Oct 2019, 16:31
  #23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MurphyWasRight View Post
What does not make sense to me in the whole story is why when confronted one of the pilots did not simply say "gotcha" and explain how the prank was done.

Had they done that I doubt we would be hearing about a lawsuit.
I suspect that the pilots did admit that they had played a prank when confronted by a manager.

Much of the hazing and tomfoolery that was traditional in the flying business years ago has succumbed to the inevitable march of political correctness in the workplace.

One of the apparent claims in the lawsuit is that the airline didn't preserve the CVR and iPad for evidence against the pilots.

Many airlines seem to have a crew bus story about a mixed-gender flight crew where one of the pilots claimed to be harassed but the accused was saved in the hearing since the CVR circuit breaker was discreetly pulled to preserve exculpatory evidence. In some versions of the story I've heard over the years the flight does an air turnback or diverts. I've always been skeptical of these tales since in the U.S. the CVR is supposedly protected from being used for company disciplinary purposes.

On the other hand, the company iPad is fair game for inspection I believe and some idiots will inevitably find a way to put stuff on it that doesn't belong. Some airlines lock down the tablets with monitoring apps so that everything is logged, others, e.g. Delta seem to allow personal email and pictures and assume that pilots are mature enough to use the company devices prudently. Based on past experience I'm not so sure that's a good assumption.

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Old 29th Oct 2019, 14:01
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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It was a prank within the crew. No paying customer offended. No real camera involved.
No need to blow this out of proportion. Bad taste? Maybe - but not more.
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 15:13
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
No paying customer offended.
And F/As are fair game for a bit of sexual harassment, after all ... ?
No real camera involved.
That's not what the lawyers are saying:
Steinaker alleges she asked first officer Ryan Russell whether the iPad was streaming video from a camera in the forward lavatory. According to the allegations, with a panicked look on his face, Russell admitted that it was live streaming.
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 15:18
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
It was a prank within the crew. No paying customer offended. No real camera involved.
No need to blow this out of proportion. Bad taste? Maybe - but not more.
(my bold) Of course the lawsuit is by a crew member.
As I speculated above had one of the pilots pointed out that it was a prank - at the time, not later - I doubt there would be a lawsuit.
Allowing the affected crew member to continue to believe that she had been watched seems a bit cruel and goes beyond 'harmless prank'.

Also the plaintiffs attorney could also make the argument that it was not a prank (real camera) and the pilots covered it up later by saying it was a prank.
NB: I don't consider this to be at all likely but Southwest left themselves open to this (according to filling at least) by not fully investigating/preserving evidence such as the i-pod,
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 17:02
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Southwest has declared no camera was involved. Nobody got streamed from the lav.

It might very well be bad taste to scare the flight attendants but it is so hard to judge over incidents that were meant to be humorous. I am not suggesting to do or repeat something like that but the reaction is a bit overblown isn't it? It should be resolved within the crew and company if it really was what has been claimed. To me it sounds more like she should be invited to some really expensive dinner or similar instead of going to court over this.

Again I am not supporting rude pranks but some humor and fun must remain possible. Especially within crews that face many strange situations and people all the time.
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 17:13
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Southwest has declared no camera was involved. Nobody got streamed from the lav.

It might very well be bad taste to scare the flight attendants but it is so hard to judge over incidents that were meant to be humorous. I am not suggesting to do or repeat something like that but the reaction is a bit overblown isn't it? It should be resolved within the crew and company if it really was what has been claimed. To me it sounds more like she should be invited to some really expensive dinner or similar instead of going to court over this.

Again I am not supporting rude pranks but some humor and fun must remain possible. Especially within crews that face many strange situations and people all the time.
"no camera was involved"? so it was a drawing on the iPad? Off course a camera was involved, otherwise there would be no video of the lav. Maybe it was a selfie vid as the pilots say, maybe it was live streaming, as the FA says, but nobody is denying there was a camera.
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 17:21
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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No streaming camera. Nobody inside the lav could be remotely filmed from the cockpit. This is why there is no need to react like there was one. It would be entirely different if some perv would actually film people on the loo.
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 17:57
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Nobody inside the lav could be remotely filmed from the cockpit.
That will be news to millions of babysitters around the world ...

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Old 29th Oct 2019, 18:52
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
No streaming camera. Nobody inside the lav could be remotely filmed from the cockpit. This is why there is no need to react like there was one. It would be entirely different if some perv would actually film people on the loo.
Next time you are in the lav on an AC see if the inflight wifi is available, if so there is no technical reason that a perv could not do a livestream.

As to "react like there was one" from the lawsuit it reads like the pilots did a good job of convincing her that there was one.
The damages claimed relate mostly to distress caused by believing she had been watched, not that whether or not she actually had been.

Another way to think about this:
Using an unloaded gun in a robbery is still an armed robbery felony, likewise threatening someone to get something is still extortion even if the threat is not executable as long as the victim believes that it is.

Good example of that is the internet spam/scam that threatens to publicly release a users porn viewing history even though the spammer has no such thing.
This works because users who don't view porn (or dont care who knows) ignore it but some will take the bait and fork over money or ID information.
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 20:01
  #32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MurphyWasRight View Post
Next time you are in the lav on an AC see if the inflight wifi is available, if so there is no technical reason that a perv could not do a livestream.
Are you sure? Don't most aircraft wifi networks block video and VOIP traffic?

Or will Apple's iOS mirroring somehow get around this?

The lawyers are starting to work the news media, perhaps hoping that Southwest will quickly settle the lawsuit and make this unsavory publicity go away. As is the custom, the attorneys will profess that they are taking this legal action for the betterment of humankind and the workplace and the fact that they are asking for money is purely coincidental.

From an interview with ABC News published Monday:

In her lawsuit against the airline, she claims that she made the discovery when she went into the cockpit during a February 2017 flight from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Phoenix, Arizona. She was in the cockpit so the captain could use the lavatory, she said.
"When I walked into the cockpit, I noticed that his iPad was located on the window and on it appeared a picture of the pilot. And I looked further and I realized that it was our pilot, the captain in the lavatory, and then I looked even further. I stared at it and realized that the picture was moving. So, it appeared to be a livestreaming video of the captain in the lavatory," she told ABC News in an interview on Monday.

She said she asked the first officer, who was in the cockpit with her, about the video. The first officer said that it was new streaming system and that the camera "was hidden so that no one would ever find it," Steinaker said in court papers. She told ABC News on Monday that the information came to her as a "complete shock.
"It occurred to her (Steinaker) that she, having used the lavatory, as had many of the other attendants and passengers, had likely been filmed," her lawyer Ronald Goldman said in a previous ABC News interview. Her lawsuit said that when Steinaker was back on the ground, after the plane had landed, she reported the incident to the airline but she claims in court documents she was directed by Southwest Airlines to keep what she'd seen to herself.

"It is ... clear from its statement that Southwest palmed this egregious event off as a joke, and it still fails to recognize the gravity of the harassment and threat to the safety of the flight. A purpose of this suit is to make sure that the culture that treats sexual harassment and hostile working environments at 30,000 feet as a joke will, it is hoped, end with the successful conclusion of this lawsuit," Goldman said in a statement to ABC News.


https://abcnews.go.com/US/southwest-...l_twitter_abcn
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 20:26
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
Are you sure? Don't most aircraft wifi networks block video and VOIP traffic?

Or will Apple's iOS mirroring somehow get around this?

Good question, I assumed the filter would at the headend, blocking the traffic to/from world rather than internally.

In any case it would show that the lav was not shielded so even if traffic is blocked on the internal wifi net a direct (peer to peer) connection to a device in the cockpit would likely work just fine.
In fact a hypothetical perv might go this route to reduce chances of detection.

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Old 29th Oct 2019, 21:00
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Of all the 'professional' people on this board, pray tell where would one hide such a device in the lav? The size of an iPhone would be realistic, plus some kind of mount, even be it double sided tape. Practically all surfaces of the lav are plastic plates secured to the bulkhead. Apart from actually drilling those and assembling a camera behind them, there is no realistic location where such a device could be placed quickly and without prohibited tools... Some people should really first think what is possible and realistic before going all panic mode about a reasonably impossible situation...
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 21:20
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
No streaming camera. Nobody inside the lav could be remotely filmed from the cockpit. This is why there is no need to react like there was one. It would be entirely different if some perv would actually film people on the loo.

It's almost like this 'prank' is also on readers of this forum. It seems the FA is as confused as I am as to whether a camera was in the Lav or not! No one seems to have connected the dots. So for others like me, who don't quite get it, if there is a moving image of the Captain in the toilet on an iPad on the flight deck, (and no one seems to doubt this) and it is not actually live, then it must be pre-recorded. There's the joke on the FA. She is seeing what she thinks is a live stream (no pun intended) and this is confirmed by the FO as he reinforces the prank.

We are in the 21st century where people taking pictures and video of people toileting or up clothing appears to be a far too common practice. Sometimes it's for uploading to porn sites or sharing sites, and at other times it is for self gratification. It's not just your street cleaner who does this either. Professional people with status have also had spectacular falls from grace over this:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/cri...ealand-embassy

Women are primarily the targets but these sorts of activities capture children too. This can end up on pedophile sites. So, some say let's not get upset about it, no one was actually recorded (except the Captains selfie), so have a sense of humour and move on. I'm sorry but I cant subscribe to that moronic response. Women should expect to feel safe especially in high altitude environments where they can't just leave! This is one of those situations where the boys club just doesn't understand the harassment that women have to deal with in every day life. Back in the day we didn't know any better (if that is any kind of excuse) but I would have to lived under a rock for my sixty plus years to not understand the political, social media and legal movements that now highlight and disgrace those who choose to show little respect for others privacy and dignity.

The FA in this case is understandably disturbed by the 'prank' since without a clear investigation it's difficult to tell what else might have happened. It is this doubt that hurts the most and I imagine continues each time she fly's. They see it as a harmless tease. She see's it as a threat to her dignity that could have ended up on the internet forever. The fact that these 'professional's thought 'teasing' her in this way would be fun just beggars belief. The tech crew have shown a complete disregard for common decency and the safety and respect of their crew for which they have a responsibility. They are in charge so there is a power imbalance here too. (" It's a secret..don't tell anyone"). #metoo anyone?

Last edited by Lord Farringdon; 29th Oct 2019 at 23:45. Reason: Grammar
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 21:58
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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What the hell has happened to this industry? It used to be fun.

Years ago, my company appointed a new firm to clean and valet the a/c. A couple of days previously, I had left a packet of chocolate biscuits in the cockpit and these had become a molten mess; as an act of innocent devilment, I smeared some chocolate on the mirror inside the lavatory. We had a couple of secretaries who stood in as air hostesses and I asked one to inspect the interior while I did the outside checks. It wasn't long before I was summoned up the steps to witness what was thought to be a dereliction on the part of the cleaners. I wiped off a finger-full and ate it. The poor girl nearly fainted but her ashen face changed immediately when I explained things and she became convulsed in laughter.

It's an old airline joke but was new to her and we still laugh about it 40 years later when we occasionally meet. The world has become full of humourless, snowflake litigants. I'm so glad I'm retired from it.
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 22:15
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Flight Alloy View Post
Of all the 'professional' people on this board, pray tell where would one hide such a device in the lav? The size of an iPhone would be realistic, plus some kind of mount, even be it double sided tape.
"Size of an iPhone" is off by orders of magnitude



Inside the smoke detector housing?


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Old 29th Oct 2019, 22:19
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Gipsy Queen View Post
I wiped off a finger-full and ate it. The poor girl nearly fainted but her ashen face changed immediately when I explained things and she became convulsed in laughter.

It's an old airline joke but was new to her and we still laugh about it 40 years later when we occasionally meet. The world has become full of humourless, snowflake litigants. I'm so glad I'm retired from it.
A couple of differences:
1: You tasted the "substance", closer to current case would be if you had somehow induced her to taste it and then revealed it's alleged 'source'. (I have heard that peanut butter can also be used...)
2: The current case target was not let in on the joke at the time, yours was.

BTW: I am not at all supporting the 'contingent fee lawyers' practices, as has been noted it -is- about the money but believe there were missed (likely several) opportunities to keep this out of court.

Last edited by MurphyWasRight; 29th Oct 2019 at 22:21. Reason: Clarified #2
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 00:43
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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This conversation between FO Russell and the plaintive FA must have been awkward with Russell’s O2 mask on, but surely they were cruising at FL250 or below.
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 01:31
  #40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Switzer View Post
This conversation between FO Russell and the plaintive FA must have been awkward with Russellís O2 mask on, but surely they were cruising at FL250 or below.


Don't know if she was plaintive but she's one of the plaintiffs.

Some airlines are a lot more compliant with that O2 mask rule than others in my anecdotal observation. The NTSB has wanted cockpit cameras for years to audit that and other operational compliance issues for 'safety' purposes. Maybe the lav camera program is all they could get right now. Just kidding, of course.

Airbus has plans to offer cameras to monitor lavatory usage according to this recent news item.

Cameras outside the TOILETS could be coming to the 'connected' airline cabins of the future

By JENNIFER NEWTON FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 08:28 EDT, 3 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:51 EDT, 3 October 2019


Cameras outside the toilets could be coming to airline cabins in the not-very-distant future.

That's if Airbus's 'connected' cabins take off.

They're being trialled now, and one version has cameras outside the toilets that the aircraft manufacturer says will help crew redirect passengers to other bathrooms if there is a long queue and signal when someone has spent an unusually long time inside.

Earlier this year it was revealed that several carriers including Singapore Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, have cameras embedded in seatback entertainment screens.

Singapore said the cameras were disabled, but it led to speculation that in-screen working cameras could be used to spy on passengers during flights in the future. The three US airlines also said that they had never activated the cameras and had no plans to use them.

The new Airbus cabin, called the Airspace Connected Experience, will also be fitted with wireless sensors to collect on-board data about passenger habits, as we reported last year.

Sensors embedded in the seats will relay how often a passenger goes to the lavatory, their sleeping patterns and what angle they recline their chair to.


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/t...e-toilets.html
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