American Airlines Employee Accused Of Stalking Passenger

An American Airlines passenger is suing the airline over allegations that she was stalked by one of its members of staff. The customer has shared that she received unexpected text messages from the employee, with some of them stating that he was watching her.

American Airlines 737-800 aircraft
An American Airlines passenger has spoken of how she was harassed while traveling with the airline. Photo: Getty

Unknown sender  

NBC San Diego reports that the flier, named Ashley Barno was waiting to board her flight in April at San Diego International. Here, she received the first message. The sender started by asking Barno how she was. She then replied saying that she was “good” before asking who the person was.

The person replied by saying that Barno was gorgeous. This caused Barno to feel uncomfortable and she repeatedly asked who the sender was. However, the person replied by complimenting how Barno looks in the gray top that she was wearing.

This caused even more concern for the passenger, so she tried to find a recognizable face in the airport’s Terminal 2. The sender finally informed her that his name is “Ahmad” and that he was an airline employee. From here, the texts caused more worry for Barno.

“I am on board now. Are you going to Chicago too??” ‘Ahmad’ said in the text, according to NBC San Diego.

 “Will you join me?” “Ahmad” continued. “I really like you!! Come on join me!!”

American Airlines 737 Getty
The American employee was elusive with his messages. Photo: Getty

Scary situation

Ultimately, Barno had no idea who the texter was yet he knew what she looked like and where she was going.

“Just knowing that he knew what I looked like, and that we were in an enclosed plane and that there’s no way out, like really, really scared me,” Barno shared, as per the report.

Barno informed ‘Ahmad’ that she wanted him to leave her alone. However, he replied by highlighting the alleged benefits of a “friendship” with him.

“Ok it’s up to you, but friendship with me will be very beneficial for you,” he replied.

“I can always give you good seats, access to the lounges, and free drinks.”

This forced Barno to consult an AA flight attendant, who confirmed that ‘Ahmad’ was indeed an employee of the airline. Therefore, managers were informed about the situation. Subsequently, ‘Ahmad’ was escorted off the aircraft when it landed at Chicago O’Hare.

The sender tried to use his perks as an American employee to impress Barno. Photo: Getty Images.

How did this happen?

Soon, Barno found out that the employee obtained her name, phone number, and address from the tag on her hand luggage. This has led her to assume that he was sitting near her. Furthermore, there have been reports that this is not the only time that ‘Ahmad’ has harassed a passenger.

An American staff member has since called Barno regarding the incident. However, she said that the carrier has been neglectful of her requests for more information since then.

Moreover, she wants confirmation that ‘Ahmad’ was penalized or fired for what he did. She also wants assurance that the airline has reviewed its training materials to prevent situations like this from happening again.

American Airlines Aircraft
Barno states that American has not done enough to address the issue. Photo: American Airlines

Due to the lack of an update, Barno has now hired a lawyer to help her file a lawsuit against the firm. It is being sued for negligent hiring and sexual harassment, among other allegations.

Joe Samo, Barno’s lawyer, shared that he tried to get an update from American, along with a reasonable payment for his client’s suffering. However, the inactivity has now forced further legal action.

Last month, it was reported that a passenger filed a lawsuit against Frontier Airlines. The airline has been accused of failing to address complaints raised regarding a sexual assault incident during a flight.

Samo hopes that the lawsuit will remind not only American but other airlines of their duty to help passengers and the public. Ultimately, he wants them to understand that this behavior is not acceptable.

Therefore, he hopes that employees get better training and more precautions are made so incidents like this don’t happen again.

Simple Flying reached out to American Airlines for comment on the reports. It responded by saying that it takes the privacy and safety of its customers very seriously.

However, it couldn’t discuss details about this individual case. Nonetheless, the carrier says that it investigated the allegations and took appropriate action.

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