An American Airlines flight attendant from South Florida whose YouTube videos poked fun at his airline bosses said Thursday he plans on fighting his termination.
Gailen David, a 24-year veteran of AA who was based in Miami, appeared in drag as the "Aluminum Lady" in the series of videos that took aim at the airline's financial difficulties. The popular videos have tens of thousands of views.
David also runs a website, dearskysteward.com, where the videos along with articles about American Airlines gossip and airplane etiquette are posted.
American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks, in a statement released Wednesday explaining David's firing, didn't mention the videos but claimed David published the private details of AA passengers and promoted AA competitors on his website.
"Mr. David was counseled last year about the serious nature of both passenger privacy and conflict of interest violations. He has repeatedly failed to adhere to our policies," Hicks said. "We take our passengers’ privacy seriously and will not allow employees to violate that trust."
Reached by NBC 6 Miami Thursday, David said he was "absolutely" fire because of the videos, which he claims his bosses at the airline demanded be taken down..
The videos kept getting watched and they couldn't stop it, that's what caused all the trouble," David said. "They're being very selective over what they chose to fire me for."
David said the flight info he posted was from former and current AA executives.
"All of these people were flying first class...and they bump regular customers," David said. "I wanted to ensure everyone that this is what goes on at American Airlines. It's not about the customers."
David said he became outspoken only because he wants to see success for American Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy back in November.
"It just didn't seem that the customer was being put as the number one purpose, that's why I started doing this," he said. "It has gone downhill and they have not kept up with the competition."
On his Facebook page Wednesday, David posted updates of his meeting with American Airlines' HR at Miami International Airport and joked that there were two security guards used to escort him out after he was terminated.
David said he's appealing the termination and will continue to speak out about the airline.
"I'm just going to continue with what I am doing," David said. "I'll continue to present accurate information about American Airlines. I'm not trying to slander them...hopefully they can get it turned around."