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Senior Delta Flight Attendant Fired for Taking Milk?

A former member of Delta’s cabin crew is taking legal action against the airline over allegations of wrongful termination. 79-year-old Ida Gomez Llanos says she was let go after stealing milk from a flight but states that her firing is a ruse for a larger smear campaign involving age discrimination.

A 79-year-old former Delta Air Lines crew member is taking legal action against the airline as part of a wrongful termination suit against the company, law firm Shegerian & Associates announced via PRNewswire.

Top Flight Attendant, Senior Perks

The claimant is Ida Gomez Llanos, who is being represented in her action by the firm. Llanos had been working for the airline and its predecessor companies for 57 years. Thanks to her seniority, she also earned a $250,000 salary as a member of crew.

Among her accolades, the law firm explained that Llanos, “…was dubbed the top flight attendant in Los Angeles, and among the top five nationwide.”

It added that, “Prior to her termination, Llanos experienced age and sex based discriminatory, retaliatory and harassing conduct by supervisors and coworkers, as well as bullying and false accusations by coworkers. Despite lodging written complaints to the company, the conduct Llanos sustained was not remedied.”

As she explained to DailyMailTV, she was let go in April because she had taken a carton of milk off of a flight despite having her line manager’s consent to do so.

“I’ve Been Accused of so Many Things”

Speaking of her firing to the outlet, Llanos said, “I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been accused of so many things and none were true.”

“They accused me of sleeping, of taking chocolates, not doing a good job – but my letters from passengers proved that wrong. They accused me of not being able to arm or disarm the doors. But we all go through training every year, and we have to pass that training or we do not fly,” she explained.

Llanos said that she was also accused of putting Bailey’s in her coffee and of stealing cereal intended for passengers. She has strenuously denied both accusations.

Until she was fired, Llanos, who was the most senior LA-based member of Delta’s cabin crew, had no other blemishes on her record. Further defending her reputation, Llanos added, “I haven’t called in sick for thirty or forty years.” She has worked as a crew member since 1962.

Age Discrimination and Jealousy

Explaining her sudden dismissal, Llanos said that she believes that she is the victim of jealousy and even discrimination both by Delta as well as her younger co-workers.

“They want to get rid of the older flight attendants. I think they put us on a higher surveillance. It’s because they have to pay us so much because we’ve been there forever and your pay scale goes up each year. I think they can hire four newer flight attendants for what they pay me,” Llanos added.

From stealing cereal and chocolate bars to putting alcohol in her coffee and being accused of being unfit for duty, Llanos believes that the charges against her are part of a wider set-up.

Commenting directly on her firing, Llanos said, “I was very depressed, because my life as I knew it had been taken away, and I didn’t understand why. I thought it was wrong.”

Delta’s Response

A spokesperson for Delta told the outlet, “When a violation of company policy is identified or inappropriate conduct is reported, Delta conducts a thorough investigation to determine the appropriate course of action – considering many factors, including the employee’s overall performance record and length of service. Decisions like these are not made lightly or without a comprehensive review by many.”

Llanos filed her suit against Delta in Los Angeles earlier this month.

Speaking of the suit, Carney Shegerian, of Shegerian & Associates, said, “Ms. Gomez was a loyal, diligent, hardworking Delta employee for more than five decades. Delta’s alleged actions should not be tolerated, and it must be held accountable for the discrimination, retaliation and harassment alleged in Ms. Gomez’s lawsuit.”

A copy of the suit can be viewed here.

[Featured Image: Inside Edition/YouTube]

Comments are Closed.
spainflyer December 13, 2019

There absolutely is a mandatory retirement age for pilots, at least on non-US airlines. And what about the factor that has not been mentioned here? She can't / doesn't pull her weight on board and the other FAs are tired of picking up the slack. 79? Slow(er) of mind and body. The pace of work on board doesn't slow to accommodate super-seniors. I do think that some other posters are right: Delta could have tried to reach a retirement agreement with her. Although that could set a bad precedent for dealing with other age-challenged staff. And how much would it take to buy out someone with a quarter-million dollar salary?

JimInOhio December 12, 2019

For a quarter million a year, can't she buy her own milk?

notmypetunia December 12, 2019

Is there a mandatory retirement age for pilots? I ask because I wonder if company policy would have similar stipulations encompassing all flight crew. $250k for a flight attendant is quite a salary. It's not uncommon for organizations to have salary caps for jobs. Delta doesn't have a cap in place? Does she work in at at-will state? I would think Delta doesn't really need to offer a reason for termination (not saying I necessarily agree with that), but if they give one, it cannot be false, nor can it be discriminatory in nature (gender, age, etc).

Gynob001 December 11, 2019

There is something bothering about this story. 1. Can’t believe that Delta is that stupid to terminate her employment when she is likely to retire sooner or later. 2. What was the gripe from coworkers? Jealousy doesn’t get them her salary nor the money comes from their pocket. 3. Did she or didn’t she take mil from the plane? I, as an University employee, can’t take, get even a pencil home. Most medical institutions won’t permit even getting a cup of coffee from a medical rep or vendor. 4. Physical health is not the only concern. Agility, quick action, neuromuscular coordination, snap decision making, eye sight, hearing, ...take a toll when you age. 5. Can’t believe that Delta just terminated her employment. Proper documentation, counseling, warning, and other termination procedures should have been in place. Without knowing previous history, we can’t take sides.

FlyingNone December 11, 2019

Yet this flight attendant (reporting on duty - drunk) was able to keep her job at Delta. Sounds like DL needs to fix their priorities on employee conduct. Quoted from SimplyFlying.... "Martin concludes that Thompson made a huge error of judgment by attending her place of work the next day. Despite being penalized in court, the attendant has kept her job after going through Delta’s disciplinary proceedings. The airline has said that it cooperated with officials in their investigation and it treats all allegations seriously, as per its strict employee alcohol policy."