Flight attendant sues over rats on a plane claim

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jul 8, 2013 in Rat News | Subscribe

An American flight attendant says she was blacklisted by US Customs for more than a year after being accused of smuggling her pet rats onto an international flight in her underwear and pantyhose.

Louann Giambattista, 55, who works for American Airlines, is suing the airline after the allegations made by her colleagues.

Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reports Ms Giambattista is seeking damages for ‘debilitating anxiety’ and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In February 2012, a pilot reported that Ms Giambattista had “a bulge in [her] pocket” and saw “what he thought was a live pet” according to papers filed in Brooklyn federal court.

On the same day, another colleague claims to have seen her feeding a pet rat on a flight to Miami.

Ms Giambattista says a bread roll in a paper cup was for her, not a rat, and blamed attempts to conceal the snack on wanting to appear professional in front of passengers.

As a result of the complaint, Ms Giambattista was questioned and had her luggage searched.

Although no pets were reportedly found, Ms Giambattista claims that as a result of the accusations American Airlines placed a flag on her passport which saw her subjected to lengthy searches every time she traveled.

The New York Post reports that lawyers for Ms Giambattista said she knows there’s a time and a place for pets.

“Everybody has pets – she has her pets at home, not at work,” lawyer Stephen Morelli said.

“She’s not a nut. They’re making her out to be a nut.”

Ms Giambattista said she was embarrassed in front of colleagues as she was questioned in a room where others could witness her interrogation.

She told The New York Post that allegations she smuggled a rat on board a flight were ‘absurd’ and ‘patently false’.

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