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Attendant Makes Incredible Accusation Against 2 Pilots

Renee Steinaker is suing Southwest Airlines
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2019 10:35 AM CDT
In this Wednesday, March 13, 2019, file photo, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 jet flies over Mesa, Ariz., en route to Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

(Newser) – Flying Southwest? You might be on candid camera. A Southwest Airlines attendant claims she saw two pilots watching livestream video of the plane's lavatory during a 2017 flight, USA Today reports. In a lawsuit, Renee Steinaker says she noticed the livestream on a cockpit iPad while the captain took a bathroom break. She claims the panicked co-pilot told her it was a new high-security measure on Southwest planes, but Steinaker didn't buy it and snapped a cellphone pic of the iPad. "They led her to believe that she and others had been filmed—had been videotaped if you will—while they were using the lavatory," says her attorney. "It's really hard to imagine a more outrageous kind of conduct."

Steinaker further alleges the pilots—Capt. Terry Graham and co-pilot Ryan Russell—broke protocol by disembarking the plane "unattended by piloting staff" and Graham "left a loaded firearm unattended in the cockpit, a violation of FAA regulations." Steinaker says she told other attendants and airline personnel about the livestream and was warned to keep quiet. The airline responded by bullying her and other attendants with unjustified tests and performance audits, and stalked them in a "threatening and bizarre manner," the suit says, per ABC13. Attorneys for the pilots deny all accusations, and the airline says "Southwest does not place cameras in the lavatories of our aircraft." (Read more Southwest Airlines stories.)

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