An American Airlines flight attendant is suing mad over accusations that she kept her pet rat snuggled in her underthings while in flight, saying in a lawsuit that suggestions otherwise by her coworkers has created a big old mess in her life. The 33-year veteran of the airline says accusations from her coworkers are “absurd” and “patently false.” Also? That sounds uncomfortable.
At the root of the lawsuit are claims from witnesses who say they spotted evidence of the fuzzy friend in interactions with the flight attendant, reports the New York Post. One pilot claimed that he “saw a bulge in [her] pocket” and noticed “what he thought was a live pet,” according to papers filed in Brooklyn federal court.
Another flight attendant also said she believed the woman was feeding her pet rats — a charge the accused says was leveled at her just because she was “eating a dinner roll out of a cup.” She says the roll was only for her, and was in the cup so as to not be seen eating in front of passengers.
After that flight, the lawsuit says her co-workers tattled on her, leading to a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent questioning her and searching her things for an hour, she alleges.
That led to the airline putting a flag on her passport, she says, which put her out for more than a year. She says federal agents stopped and searched her every time she went through customs, making it nearly impossible for [her] to report to work.”
She alleges in the lawsuit that ICE agents would bully her during those searches, and that other airline employees were filtered through the room just to watch.
“Everybody has pets — she has her pets at home, not at work,” her attorney said. “She’s not a nut. They’re making her out to be a nut.”
As a result, she’s now claiming symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including “debilitating anxiety.” She alleges that American wouldn’t transfer her to domestic flights — so that she could avoid the whole customs ordeals — and that she was targeted for “no reason.”
American Airlines says it will respond to her claims in court, where she is seeking unspecified damages.
“She’s got a lot of different pets,” her lawyer noted. “She had the rat — it died.”
Best song about a rat friend ever? You got it: