whistleblower Upgrades and Downgrades    Whistleblowers, tray table ads, and hotel points

Downgraded: The fates of whistleblowers who look out for passenger safety
A cold day in Calgary, and three US Airways flight attendants notice ice building up on the wings. After much wrangling, they convince their flight crew to de-ice an aircraft. After landing safely, they report the incident to the FAA. Then the fun begins.

After the trio reported the incident to the Federal Aviation Administration, one of the flight’s pilots fired back at them, hard. He sued all three flight attendants for defamation, demanding $2 million.
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But what makes it even worse is that the cost of a trial, much less any jury verdict, would come out of their pockets. At this point, their airline has decreed that they’re on their own.

According to their union contract, US Airways is supposed to foot the legal bill for any flight attendant sued for something she did as part of her official duties. The only caveat? If the flight attendant has shown “willful misconduct,” the airline is off the hook.

And effectively accusing the flight attendants of misconduct, the airline isn’t paying one cent in their defense. Read the whole story. And if you want to help them out, they’ve started a fundraising drive.

Upgraded: Spirit Airlines flight attendant uniform hijinx
Also Upgraded: The ethical sanctity of your tray table advertisement

Spirit Airlines flight attendants are objecting to wearing an advertisement for Bud Light on their uniforms. (Ads for bloggers not quite in the works yet.)

Meanwhile, Spirit has decided that some advertisers are off limits: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “Spirit has rebuffed PETA’s attempts to place the ad, which features fluffy yellow chicks and urges passengers to ‘let birds keep their wings’ by adopting a vegetarian diet.”

Upgraded: Safety of your hotel points, for now
Your hotel points are safe, they say. Adam Kirby at the trade journal Hotels followed up on my speculation (or “paranoia”) that recent hotel bonus promotions were the sign of devaluations to come. Both Hilton and Marriott assured Adam that no such devaluations were afoot. Good, but that’s really easy for Marriott to say: They devalued their points just two weeks ago! (Thanks, Adam!)

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4 Responses to “Upgrades and Downgrades — Whistleblowers, tray table ads, and hotel points”

  1. Chris Says:

    Well Hilton just went ahead and devalued the AXON amount….

  2. Claire Walter Says:

    How ironic that US Airways, which was so widely praised after one of its captains put his plane down in the Hudson River with no loss of life, would treat three conscientious flight attendants so shabbily. And what a jerk (nicest word I can think of ) would sue said flight attendants for something that might have saved his tail, the lives of the passengers and crew, and the plane itself.

  3. B Bird Says:

    There seems to be plenty of ‘lively debate’ over the facts of the deicing case, read up on it and make your own mind up

  4. mark Says:

    B Bird, I’m not sure what facts about the de-icing case would make for a relevant lively debate. From what I can tell, everybody concedes three basic facts:

    - the wings needed de-icing
    - the pilots overlooked or ignored the ice
    - the FAs pressured the pilots until de-icing was done

    Personally, I couldn’t care less whether the FAs achieved their objective by asking politely, by fibbing about passengers being concerned, or by doing the lambada nude. Ice on the wings = pax lives at risk.

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