An American Airlines passenger reportedly got off her flight and realized she left her iPhone behind. She wanted to get back on the aircraft, but a flight attendant told her to continue down the jetway and and “she’d look and bring it to her.”
However the flight attendant is said to have claimed she couldn’t find the phone. Days later though the passenger says that selfies of the flight attendant began showing up in the passenger’s iCloud.
A friend of the passenger’s reached out to American’s Twitter team.
A friend of mine lost her phone on an @AmericanAir flight and realized while deboarding. She tried to turn around (still on plane) and FA told her to deplane, she’d look and bring it to her. FA told her she found nothing. Days later, selfies of FA appear in her iCloud. Explain. pic.twitter.com/vYI32pWeSa
— Bobby Johnson (@BobbyJohnson89_) February 3, 2018
The twitter folks suggested filling out a lost and found form. While I’ve had great luck with American’s customer service via twitter that’s not their most brilliant suggestion under the claimed circumstances.
Was she able to file a Lost and Found form on our website? https://t.co/JsEGHYNki5.
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) February 3, 2018
While initial reporting was that the passenger had not contacted American and it seemed that was a precursor to any investigation, an American spokesperson tells me,
We take these allegations very seriously, and our corporate security team continues to investigate this issue that allegedly occurred on Dec. 24, 2017. We are now in touch with the passenger directly.
However, the photos of our crew members do not match the selfie that was allegedly posted on the passengers iPhone.
The most dispositive first step does seem to be matching the photos to an actual employee of either American or one of their regional partners. The airline seems pretty confident that the passenger is mistaken about who is in the photos. While it seems that the phone was taken and used, they may have been quick to blame a flight attendant.
Matthew Klint offers detailed instructions to flight attendants — or anyone else, really — who wish to steal iPhones in the future to avoid this sort of embarrassment.
The situation reminds me of the security screener who stuck an iPad in his pants. One TSA agent was caught thanks to Apple’s tracking technology. Then there was the TSA agent who tried to sell a CNN camera on eBay. Perhaps the iphone thief was auditioning for a job with TSA.