When accusing Southwest Airlines and the union of retaliation after she reported her co-pilot for exposing himself and watching pornography during a flight, the pilot filed a lawsuit.


Join our weekday newsletter list to receive original analysis, news, and trends in your inbox. Thank you for registering! When you’re on the go, access your favorite topics in a customized feed. After her co-pilot deadbolted the cockpit door during a flight and exposed himself to her while watching pornography, a Southwest Airlines pilot filed a lawsuit against the airline, her union, and her former co-pilot.

Christine Janning says in a lawsuit that Southwest retaliated against her when she complained about her then-co-pilot Micheal Haak, who eventually admitted to engaging in inappropriate behavior during the flight in 2021.

According to the lawsuit, Haak told Janning there was “something he wanted to do before retiring” on a flight from Philadelphia to Orlando in 2020, then went on to bolt lock the cockpit door, sealing them both within, so he could masturbate in front of her while watching pornography on his tablet.

In accordance with the lawsuit, Haak pushed Janning to record the act on camera and with a video camera. Janning documented the event with photos to preserve it.

Janning filed a formal report with Southwest Airlines three months after the event, but she later learned that her case had been closed without an internal inquiry because Haak had retired and the airline had refused to get in touch with him, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that Janning put off filing the report because she was concerned about Orlando’s chief pilot’s retaliation and did not want him to be associated with the case due to an earlier incident in which he “disparaged” her to a male captain.

According to the lawsuit, Jannings met with the FBI to discuss the incident in private after her matter with Southwest was resolved.

Southwest allegedly disclosed the events to at least 25 workers despite Janning’s desire to keep the incident confidential. She added that the airline had banned her.

The flight operations officials allegedly withdrew Janning’s flight status permanently after learning of a “potential litigation,” according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association declined to represent Janning and its vice president asserted that Haak had a flawless employment history.

The lawsuit claims that the union helped Southwest and Haak by covering up prior allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Haak made by other women before the FBI launched its investigation.

In 2021, Haak entered a guilty plea, as per an statement by the Department of Justice.

Haak described the encounter as “a consenting prank” that went awry at his sentence hearing last year, according to the Associated Press .

Southwest Airlines’ representative told Insider that the company takes all issues relating to workplace behavior very seriously.

“The Captain in question left Southwest before we were made aware of the incident, and we quickly assisted our Employee by working with the relevant outside agencies as they looked into the matter. The foundation of our company culture is treating others with respect and decency, and we intend to firmly contest the claims made in this most recent lawsuit “According to Southwest’s statement.

An attorney for Haak and the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association did not immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment.