• WQTC 102.3

"Ma'am? The texts are coming from INSIDE YOUR PLANE...!"

It's always smart to affix your name and phone number to your luggage in case it's lost, right?  You may think twice after reading this.


Ashley Barno was boarding a flight at San Diego International Airport on her way to Chicago in April when she started receiving texts from an unknown number.

As the Washington Post reports, the texts were flattering -- “Btw I must tell you that you are gorgeous!” one read -- but, like any sensible person would, Barno asked for the sender’s name and how they’d gotten her number.


What followed was a long series of text message exchanges, during which Arno learned the sender, who identified himself as 'Ahmad,' was an American Airlines employee who got her number off her luggage tag -- and not only that, but was on the same flight as her.

“You want to sit next to me?” he wrote, then asked twice, "Whats ur seat number?”

After Barno texted him to stop, Ahmad responded, "Ok it’s up to you, but friendship with me will be very beneficial for you,” and “I can always give you good seats, access to the lounges, and free drinks.”


Understandably freaked out, Barno alerted a flight attendant that the man was continuing to text her while on the plane, and watched as he was escorted off the plane when it landed in Chicago.  She also says the flight attendant told her it wasn't the first time the man had done that sort of thing -- which he then continued to do, allegedly sending Barno three additional texts three-and-a-half hours later, including “How was your flight?” and “Chicago is your final destination?”


The man sent Barno more than 100 texts in all both during and after the flight, including, she says, sexually suggestive images.  After claiming American Airlines wasn't responsive to her entreaties about the harassment, Barno has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines for negligent hiring, sexual harassment and stalking.


In a statement, American Airlines said in part, "We investigated the allegations and took appropriate action. The employee involved in the complaint is no longer employed at American Airlines.”

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