American Airlines worker stalked woman with suggestive texts during flight: Lawsuit

Marco Green
January 15, 2020

"Hey, Ashley! How are you?" the creepy string of unsolicited text messages began. "I must tell you that you are gorgeous... you are looking very gorgeous in that gray top today".

Ashley Barno says she received the texts from an American employee named "Ahmad", who not only texted her while she was waiting for a flight at San Diego International Airport but again when she boarded the plane to Chicago.

A San Diego woman is suing American Airlines, alleging that one of its employees pestered her with over 100 sexually suggestive text messages after obtaining her number through his employment with the airline.

The sender tried to use his perks as an American employee to impress Barno. "Ahmad" said in the text, according to NBC San Diego.

"American Airlines did not do a sufficient job in hiring and supervising employees to keep its customers safe from sexual harassment and stalking", states the complaint, which was filed last week in San Diego. Here, she received the first message.

"I'm good, thank you!" Barno is unsure when the man could have gotten her number from her bag tag or whether she had met "Ahmad" before the day she started receiving texts, Samo said. When he admitted he was an airline employee, Barno told him to leave her alone. She said she asked for the sender's name and how the sender got her number.

"The whole time I kept asking him, 'Who are you? I will be very respectful to you always". "How'd you get my info?'" Barno told NBC.

Samo said he and Barno are not sure of the man's identity and whether "Ahmad" is his real name. The off-duty worker added that he worked for American Airlines.

"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.

The man, who eventually identified himself as "Ahmad", told Barno he saw her get onto the plane, and said he watched silently as she passed his aisle 15 seat.

"I am on board now. Are you going to Chicago too??" he texted after they boarded. The texts continued, "If you want to come and join me once the aircraft get airborne!" "Ahmad" continued. "I really like you!"

The anonymous texter continued to compliment Barno and even mentioned specific details of the clothes she was wearing.

When they touched down at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, what looked to be security guards escorted the man off the plane, Samo said. His name is "Ahmad", he tells her.

"Friendship with me will be very beneficial for you!" "I can always give you good seats, access to the lounges, and free drinks". At one point, the flight attendant told Barno that this wasn't "the first time he's done something like this", Samo said.

Barno praised the flight attendant who intervened as "amazingly helpful". Furthermore, there have been reports that this is not the only time that "Ahmad" has harassed a passenger.

Though an American Airlines employee called her after the incident, Barno alleges that the carrier never replied to subsequent requests for more information.

He is then said to have told a anxious Ashley he could get her free flights and access to lounges, adding: 'Will you join me? She is suing the company for stalking and sexual harassment.

"We're doing this to send a message to big corporations that this behavior is not acceptable", Barno's attorney Joe Samo said.

Therefore, he hopes that employees get better training and more precautions are made so incidents like this don't happen again. Nonetheless, the carrier says that it investigated the allegations and took appropriate action. "The employee involved in the complaint is no longer employed at American Airlines", the company said in a statement to CNN.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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