The executive director of US organisation Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights has filed a lawsuit claiming her email accounts were hacked by Delta Air Lines.
In court documents, executive director Kate Hanni said that she had been in an email exchange with a researcher at a firm called Metron who was looking into flight delays. During these conversations, she claims, her AOL account was attacked and some of the emails ended up in the hands of Delta executives.
Hanni was in regular contact with Frederick J. Foreman, a researcher at Metron who had been hired by the FAA to look into the statistics of flight delays. Metron had cleared him to talk with Hanni, but then fired him after confronting him with the emails, he said.
“When Foreman asked Metron how Metron obtained the information, Metron claimed that Delta had provided them with the stolen e-mails,” said the court documents.
“Confirming Metron’s claims, the screenshots of the stolen e-mails presented to Foreman were from Delta. Foreman was fired by Metron the same day.”
Foreman said that the emails he saw not only covered exchanges between Hanni and himself, but also conversations between her and her attorney, as well as emails to journalists.
Meanwhile, Hanni said that both AOL and Microsoft had confirmed that her PC had been hacked and the password changed. When she did manage to get access, some files had been copied off her system and others were corrupted.
Hanni is campaigning for an air passenger’s bill of rights that would force airlines to provide food, water, and medical attention to passengers stuck in planes waiting to take off for more than three hours.
Hanni claimed that such a bill, if made into law, could cost Delta around US$40 million per annum, given the company’s record of delays.
Delta has dismissed the charges as ridiculous and Metron too has denied any wrongdoing.