Southwest Airlines flight attendants quickly and decisively stepped in to shut down a passenger who was sending lewd photos to a fellow flier.
Kat Pitman was flying from Louisville to Chicago on Friday when she received a request via the Apple app AirDrop. She did not recognize the name, particularly since it was a perverted play-on-words of the character Bilbo Baggins from “The Hobbit.”
The photo was a pornographic picture of male genitalia, followed by a video and another photograph.
According to Lifewire, AirDrop is a featured app exclusive to Apple that allows users of its products – iPhones, iPads and Mac computers – to share files wirelessly via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth with other Apple users. AirDrop will automatically detect nearby supported devices, and the devices only need to be close enough to establish a good Wi-Fi connection, making it possible to share files across several rooms.
Receivers need to have AirDrop turned on as well, although there is a setting for ‘Contacts Only’ to limit people you don’t know from sending you files.
Like what happened to Kat Pitman.
A frequent flier, she told USA Today this had never happened to her before. Un-nerved, she approached the flight attendants to seek guidance in addition to already turning her AirDrop off.
Southwest’s crew acted immediately, with one of the flight attendants grabbing the intercom and advising “Mr. Baggins, please stop using the AirDrop feature immediately.”
“There was no question. They weren’t like, ‘What’s AirDrop?’ They just took care of it,” Pitman said. “They continued to check on me during the flight and as I left the flight. I just was incredibly impressed.”
Southwest spokesman Chriz Mainz said in a statement “The safety and comfort of all of our customers is our highest concern, and we don’t condone such inappropriate behavior. Our crews are equipped to respond quickly and appropriately to address these concerns expressed by our customers, which is exactly what they did in this case.”
The passenger who sent the files was not identified and not arrested.
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