A British flight attendant claims she was forced to quit her job with Virgin Atlantic after she posted about being starstruck by British celeb Rita Ora on a recent flight.
Charlotte Whittingham, 25, posted about serving Ora on a flight from London to Los Angeles on the Facebook page of her girlfriend, Stacey McClean, commenting that the singer-actress “looked like an oil painting, she was so beautiful.”
“I’m a fan, but I stayed totally professional,” Whittingham told the Sun. “She was so friendly and gorgeous I thought I’d share it. I paid her a compliment—I never thought it would jeopardize my job.”
After finding out about the post, Whittingham’s supervisors “urg[ed] her to resign or face the sack for a data protection breach.” She quickly called McClean and asked her to remove the post, but “the damage was already done.”
A friend told the paper, “Charlotte was due to have a meeting, hoping they could resolve it. But management basically said it was in her interest to quit.” Whittingham believes a co-worker informed management about the post. “She’s deeply hurt,” the friend added. “She doesn’t know why someone would go out of their way to ruin her life over a trivial little comment.”
Whittingham called working for Virgin a “dream job.”
“I’ve always been so conscious of not affecting the Virgin brand. But when my girlfriend made a status saying how lucky I was to fly with Rita, I simply replied about how beautiful she was. Virgin wasn’t mentioned.”
A Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman told The Sun she couldn’t comment on the incident. “In general, we expect high standards of behavior from all employees and ensure customer privacy is maintained across the Virgin Atlantic experience.”