Flight Attendants Fired For Insubordination File Complaint Against United Airlines, Ask For Job Back

A group of 13 flight attendants have filed a complaint against United Airlines over being fired after they refused to work on a plane they felt was dangerous.

The complaint was filed Tuesday with the Federal Occupational and Safety and Health Administration Office in San Francisco. The flight attendants are asking for their jobs back.

The firings stems from an incident last July at San Francisco International Airport. Flight attendants said they saw the words "Bye-Bye" and two faces drawn in oily residue on the tail cone 30 feet above ground.

"The flight attendants believed there was a threat to the aircraft, but United did nothing about it except to go up and check out the writing," said David Marshall, an attorney representing the flight attendants. "And they determined the plane was safe to go."

The flight attendants refused to fly unless more than 300 passengers were taken off the plane and the Boeing 747 was thoroughly searched for explosives. Supervisors ordered them to fly, but the flight attendants refused.

United Airlines ultimately fired them for insubordination.

In the complaint, flight attendants also contend they are protected as whistle blowers for reporting security threats.

Meanwhile, United Airlines said there was no credible security threat and issued the following statement:

"All of FAA’s and United’s own safety procedures were followed, including a comprehensive safety sweep prior to boarding, and the pilots, mechanics and safety leaders deemed the aircraft entirely safe to fly."

Still, flight attendants contend what they saw that day was enough to raise concerns -- not just about their own safety, but of the passengers they serve.

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