Alaska Airlines flight attendant accuses first officer of rape, sues over termination

A flight attendant formerly employed by Alaska Airlines has filed a lawsuit against the carrier, claiming that she was fired after she reported she had been drugged and raped by a first officer during an August 2017 work trip.

Ashley Geffre is accusing the airline of firing her "in retaliation" after reporting the assault, which allegedly occurred in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., KIRO 7 reported.

The 25-year-old further claimed that even though the first officer "corroborated her story about possibly being drugged" to their employer — he claimed he was drugged, too — he was not terminated.

alaska airlines reuters

Geffre says that working for the carrier "was probably the best three years of my life."  (Reuters)

"I've loved my job as a flight attendant. It’s taken me amazing places. I've met incredible people," Geffree said of her "dream job."

“It was probably the best three years of my life,” she noted.

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Everything changed during an overnight stay in Fort Lauderdale, she said, when she went out for dinner and drinks with the first officer.

“The next day I woke up early in the morning around 6 or 7 a.m. And I had no clothes on. My clothes were on every corner of the room and I was scared,” the former flight attendant recalled to KIRO 7 of the “devastating” realization.

“I felt severe cramping beyond menstrual pain. I felt itchy. I felt sexually assaulted,” she further divulged. “I had no idea what had happened.” 

She learned more terrifying details about the night when she approached the Broward County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident.

"I’ve been called a liar by a company that I loved working for. I've been slut-shamed by a company that I devoted my time to."

- Ashley Geffre

“I was found in a stairwell by a security guard who swore under oath he did find me in a stairwell with my pants to my ankles and I was slouched over with vomit on me,” Geffree said.

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Geffre then notified Alaska Airlines that she would not be able to fly that evening as originally scheduled as she did not feel safe. She claimed that the first officer also reported he was drugged and could not fly that day.

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Betty Pina filed suit against Alaska Airlines in Washington State Superior Court. Paul Engelien (right) is named in Pina’s lawsuit, but not as a defendant.  (Eric Makus/Twitter)

Upon returning to the West Coast, Geffree said she was questioned about the incident with her union rep and “had no idea it was going to lead to termination.”

“They called me dishonest. I’ve been called a liar by a company that I loved working for. I've been slut-shamed by a company that I devoted my time to,” Geffre said.

Her lawsuit further alleges that the first officer who assaulted her was not fired and is still actively employed by Alaska Airlines. When KIRO asked Geffre why she thought this was the case, she replied that “part of me is believing that the flight attendants and the pilots are treated very differently.”

Geffre’s lawsuit is the second of its kind to slam Alaska Airlines in recent months. In March, pilot Betty Pina sued the airline after she said she was drugged and raped by Capt. Paul Engelian during an overnight stop in Minneapolis in June 2017. She said the airline failed to hold Engelian accountable and he remains employed by the airline.

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"This is a problem,” Pina said at the time. “I'm not the first, but I would love to be the last, but this is a problem in this industry."

“My hope is that by me doing this, it may protect other women," she added.

Geffree said she feels the same way.

“I feel that I made all of the right decisions and I would do them again in a heartbeat,” she said.

Though Alaska Airlines did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment, the carrier did tell KIRO 7 that the reported attacker has been grounded, and provided a statement.

“Alaska Airlines has a firm non-retaliation policy. We can confirm that the First Officer was removed from duty immediately and has not flown since Aug. 2017. When situations arise that are inconsistent with our values, we investigate them fully and act in accordance with our policies,” a representative said.

Geffre and Pina’s lawsuits join a chorus of recent sexual assault accusations related to travel in the skies. In March, a woman claiming she was raped in bathroom on American Airlines flight sued the airline after rejecting $5,000 to settle.

And in April, a SkyWest flight attendant accused a pilot of drugging and raping her during a layover. Days later, a British Airways employee was accused of raping a senior flight attendant during a stop in Singapore.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak