A lawsuit filed against a Southwest Airlines flight attendant claims that pilots on a flight in 2017 had an iPad transmitting video from a hidden camera in a bathroom to one of the airline's jets.
Southwest responded Saturday, denying putting cameras in airplane toilets and calling the 2017 incident an "inappropriate attempt at humor" that was not justified by the company.
The lawsuit alleges that flight attendant Rene Steinaker saw an iPad broadcasting video from the front lounge when she entered the cockpit, the required second man in the cockpit, when the pilot left to use the bathroom about two and a half hours in flight to Phoenix by Pittsburgh on February 27, 201
According to the suit, Steinaker saw the pilot in an iPad streaming video and the pilot "with a panic look" admitted that the iPad was running from a camera in the bathroom, but claimed it was "new security and top secret information security measure t installed in all Boeing 737-800 aircrafts in the Southwest. "
The suit says Steinaker took a picture of a cellphone from an iPad video, provided the photo with a report to Southwest management and was warned by a supervisor not to tell anyone about the incident.
According to the case, Steinaker was warned, "if this goes out, if it goes public, no one, I mean no one, will never fly again to our airline."
Court records from the Dallas-based Southwest and both pilots denied the allegations live , and the Southwest on Saturday issued statements stating
"When the incident happened two years ago, we investigated the allegations and addressed the situation with the crew involved," the company said in a second statement.
"From our investigation, we can confirm that there was never a camera in the toilet; the incident is an inappropriate attempt at humor that the company does not cringe at.
The lawsuit against Southwest, a company known for its joking and disrespectful flight crew behavior, and the two pilots were announced Saturday by attorneys for Steinaker and her husband, also a southwest flight attendant.
The lawsuit was initially filed on behalf of Steinakers, who live in metro Phoenix, in Arizona State Court in October 2018 and was moved to federal court in Phoenix in late August.  The couple's lawyer, Ronald LM Goldman, said the alleged live stream would compromise safety by distracting crew members and invading the bathroom occupants. ", Says Goldman in a statement.
An initial version of the case alleges that both spouses were subjected to discrimination, harassment and retaliation in connection with René Steiner's reporting of
. A later version of the case did not include those claims. , but said they would be reinstated if the Federal Equal Employment Commission approved the complaint on these allegations.
No trial date has been set for a claim seeking specific awards based on various claims for damages.