American Airlines employee 'took passenger's number before bombarding her with messages'

American Airlines 737-800 aircraft

An American Airlines passenger has spoken of how she was harassed while traveling with the airline

Ashley Barno was traveling from San Diego International Airport to Chicago last April when she received a series of mysterious text messages from an unknown sender as she waited to board her flight. I really like you!

Samo said he and Barno are not sure of the man's identity and whether "Ahmad" is his real name.

After thanking him, Barno persisted to ask how he had gotten her number.

This forced Barno to consult an AA flight attendant, who confirmed that "Ahmad" was indeed an employee of the airline.

"You are looking very gorgeous in that gray top today".

A San Diego woman is suing American Airlines, alleging that one of its employees pestered her with over 100 sexually suggestive text messages after obtaining her number through his employment with the airline.

An American Airlines spokesman told the the company "takes the privacy and safety of our customers seriously".

"American Airlines takes the privacy and safety of our customers seriously. We investigated the allegations and took appropriate action", Freed said.

The employee was not on duty at the time of the incident.

But the harassment continued even after Barno boarded the plane.

"Just knowing that he knew what I looked like, and that we were in an enclosed flight, on an enclosed plane, and there's no way out, like, really really scared me", she told NBC-7 in NY. She said she asked for the sender's name and how the sender got her number.

He asked, twice, "Whats ur seat number?" "I must tell you that you are gorgeous... you are looking very gorgeous in that gray top today".

Shaken, Barno was upset to later learn that "Ahmad" allegedly took her name, cell phone number and address from the luggage tag on her carry-on bag - personal information that was not concealed on the label.

"Friendship with me will be very beneficial for you! Are you going to Chicago too??"

'Just knowing that he knew what I looked like, and that we were in an enclosed plane and that there's no way out, like really, really scared me. How do you know who I am? She then replied saying that she was "good" before asking who the person was.

Barno is suing the American Airlines employee, who is unnamed in the lawsuit, over the encounter for sexual harassment, stalking and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Later, he sent her three more texts asking about her flight and whether Chicago was her final destination.

When they touched down at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, what looked to be security guards escorted the man off the plane, Samo said. At one point, the flight attendant told Barno that this wasn't "the first time he's done something like this", Samo said.

The sender tried to use his perks as an American employee to impress Barno. But the lawsuit alleges that the company "knew of its employee's propensity to inappropriately contact its customers yet continued to retain him as an employee".

An American Airlines passenger has filed a lawsuit against the carrier, claiming that an employee stalked her at San Diego International Airport and during her flight from the California air hub a year ago. She also wants assurance that the airline has reviewed its training materials to prevent situations like this from happening again.

"That added a lot of insult to injury", he said.

Because of the incidents, Barno had trouble sleeping, eating and socializing with her family and friends and had to seek professional help, the lawsuit alleges.

In a lawsuit filed last week in San Diego County Superior Court, Barno alleges she complained to American Airlines about the employee and says she learned it wasn't the first time he had engaged in inappropriate behavior.

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