Southwest Airlines is refuting the allegations of a flight attendant who says that two pilots were live-streaming footage from the aircraft’s bathroom into the cockpit, instead dismissing the incident as an "inappropriate" attempt at a joke.
The flight attendant, who filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleges that during a 2017 flight, Renee Steinaker entered the cockpit of the plane after Capt. Terry Graham went to use the lavatory, as regulations required two people to be in the cockpit at all times. Upon entering, however, Steinaker says she saw an iPad mounted to the windshield showing real-time footage from the plane’s bathroom, per the Arizona Republic.
Steinaker claimed the co-pilot tried to explain it away as a new security feature.
The lawsuit also alleges that after Steinaker reported the incident — as well as her claim that Graham left a loaded gun in the cockpit after disembarking — she was told not to tell anyone. Steinaker added that she and her husband, also a Southwest flight attendant, have also been subjected to “threatening” observation by their managers.
Both pilots involved in the Feb. 27, 2017 flight are still flying with the carrier today, the lawsuit further alleges.
“It's really hard to imagine a more outrageous kind of conduct," said the Steinakers’ attorney, Ronald L.M. Goldman, in a statement provided to the Arizona Republic.
Southwest, however, says the carrier is prepared to “vigorously defend the lawsuit.”
“When the incident happened two years ago, we investigated the allegations and addressed the situation with the crew involved,” a spokesperson for Southwest shared in a statement provided to Fox News.
“We can confirm from our investigation that there was never a camera in the lavatory; the incident was an inappropriate attempt at humor which the company did not condone.”
Southwest did not expand on the details of the pilots’ “attempt at humor.”
Aside from the privacy implications outlined in the lawsuit, Goldman worried that the pilots’ alleged actions would “compromise the safety of flight and the safety of passengers,” he told the Republic.