Flight Attendant in Hot Water Over Tarmac Photo

But others say posing in jet engine wells is a harmless tradition
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2015 3:46 PM CDT
Flight Attendant in Hot Water Over Tarmac Photo
Taking photos in an engine well is apparently a flight attendant tradition.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Passengers on a recent Spirit Airlines flight out of Chicago who were disturbed by an incident on the tarmac may not want to check out the #stewsforericka hashtag on Twitter. That's because there are loads of photos of flight attendants posing for snapshots in jet engine wells—a show of solidarity for attendant Ericka Paige Diehl, who's in hot water for taking such a photo at O'Hare airport, reports WLS. A passenger who saw her do it before the flight contacted WLS to ask if it was legal. When Diehl came aboard, someone got her name, looked her up online, and saw she had posted those tarmac pictures to her Facebook page. The photos, as well as her entire Facebook page, have since been scrubbed, the station notes.

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A Chicago Department of Aviation rep tells WLS that anyone on the tarmac has to be "properly badged and/or under escort." And, per ABC News, when Spirit Airlines got wind of the situation, it issued a statement that said, "The activity portrayed in the photo absolutely goes against Spirit policy." A spokesman says an investigation is underway. But fellow professional fliers are supporting Diehl, saying such photos are a time-honored tradition. "I have a picture in a jet engine, and pretty much everybody that I know that has been a flight attendant … it's just one of those things that we like to do," an ex-flight attendant tells ABC. Another tweets: "The photo of the flight attendant in the engine isn't a problem. We all take them. The time that she decided to take it could be an issue." (Read more Spirit Airlines stories.)

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