The family of a teenage girl says that they were shocked when their daughter allegedly discovered an iPhone taped to the back of an airplane toilet seat, and they believe a member of the crew put it there in hopes of capturing footage of the 14-year-old using the washroom.
The family was travelling on American Airlines from Charlotte, N.C., to Boston on Sept. 2 when the alleged incident occurred.
A photo of the phone, which was mostly covered by red and white tape, save for the flash and camera functions on the back of the device, had “Inoperative Catering Equipment” and “Remove From Service” printed on it with a note written in marker that said “Seat Broken.”
The picture was provided to the media by law firm Lewis & Llewellyn, LLP, which is representing the family.
Family members told the Post that their daughter had been waiting in line to use the coach washroom, when a male flight attendant approached the girl and offered to bring her to first class, saying there was no line up for the washroom there.
The family alleges that the crew member brought her to the front of the plane, but slipped in front of the girl, telling her he needed to quickly wash his hands before she used the facilities.
As he exited the washroom, he told the girl that the toilet seat was broken but not to worry about it, the family said in a written statement.
It wasn’t until after she flushed that she noticed the phone and took a photo of it, the family said.
The flight attendant then entered the washroom after she left, the family claims.
The mother of the girl, who asked not to be identified, said her daughter reported the phone when she came back to her seat, prompting the mom to go up to first class to check it out.
When she arrived, she told the Post, the phone was gone. So she began asking questions of the crew.
“I remember seeing the male flight attendant’s face just go totally white,” the father said, noting they didn’t see the employee for the remainder of the flight.
The FBI is now investigating, they confirmed, but were short on details. State authorities told Charlotte-based WSOC only that the incident involved a “juvenile, flight attendant, and a cellphone.”
“American Airlines flight 1441 from Charlotte (CLT) to Boston (BOS) was met by law enforcement upon arrival. We take this matter very seriously and are fully cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation, as safety and security are our highest priorities,” a spokesperson for the airline told WSOC.
“These events have left our daughter — and entire family — shocked and profoundly disturbed,” the family wrote in a statement.
The investigation is ongoing.
— With files from The Associated Press