A former Alaska Airlines flight attendant is suing the airline, claiming she was fired after reporting that she was drugged and raped during an overnight stop.
In a lawsuit just filed, Ashley Geffre claims she tried to do the right thing but the company fired her in retaliation.
She also said a first officer corroborated her story about possibly being drugged but he wasn't fired.
“I've loved my job as a flight attendant,” Geffre said. “It’s taken me amazing places. I've met incredible people.”
Working as a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines was a dream job for Geffre, 25.
“It was probably the best three years of my life,” Geffre added.
But last August, that changed during an overnight stay in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“It's devastating,” she said.
She went out for dinner and drinks with the first officer.
“And the next day, I woke up early in the morning around 6 or 7 a.m.,” she recalled. “And I had no clothes on. My clothes were (in) every corner of the room and I was scared.”
She believes she had been drugged and raped. But she didn’t know who was responsible.
“I felt severe cramping beyond menstrual pain. I felt itchy. I felt sexually assaulted,” Geffre said. “I had no idea what had happened.”
She later learned from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office more frightening details about that night.
“I was found in a stairwell by a security guard who swore under oath he did find me in a stairwell with my pants to my ankles and I was slouched over with vomit on me,” Geffre said.
Geffre notified the airline that she couldn’t fly that evening.
“I did the right thing,” Geffre said. “I did not feel safe to fly.”
She said the first officer also claimed he was drugged and couldn’t fly.
“As soon as I returned to Seattle a few days later, they called me in for questioning,” she recounted. “And I went in with my union rep and I had no idea it was going to lead to termination.”
KIRO-TV asked what their reason were for terminating her was.
“They called me dishonest. I’ve been called a liar by a company that I loved working for. I've been slut shamed by a company that I devoted my time to,” Geffre answered.
Geffre’s lawsuit claims the first officer wasn’t fired and is still working for the airline.
KIRO-TV asked her why she thought she was terminated, yet he still has a job.
“Part of me is believing that the flight attendants and the pilots are treated very differently,” Geffre said.
Alaska Airlines is also named in another lawsuit. In March, pilot Betty Pina sued the airline after she said she was drugged and raped by Capt. Paul Engelian during an overnight stop in Minneapolis last June. She said the airline failed to hold Engelian accountable and he remains employed by the airline.
"This is a problem,” Betty Pina said. “I'm not the first, but I would love to be the last, but this is a problem in this industry."
Geffre said the culture needs to change.
“I feel that I made all of the right decisions and I would do them again in a heartbeat,” Geffre said.
Alaska Airlines provided KIRO-TV with this statement: “Alaska Airlines has a firm non-retaliation policy. We can confirm that the First Officer was removed from duty immediately and has not flown since Aug. 2017. When situations arise that are inconsistent with our values, we investigate them fully and act in accordance with our policies.”
KIRO-TV asked for clarification about whether the first officer was still employed with the company but the spokesperson said she couldn't comment any further.
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