Page last updated at 19:11 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Crew sacked over Facebook posts

Virgin Atlantic plane
The airline said there was "a time and place for Facebook".

Thirteen cabin crew staff have been sacked by Virgin Atlantic over their use of a social networking website, it has emerged.

It launched disciplinary action last week following claims staff had used Facebook to criticise its safety standards and call passengers "chavs".

The airline said the crew's behaviour "brought the company into disrepute".

It is understood the messages, which have now been removed, related to planes flying from Gatwick.

Virgin Atlantic started an investigation last Thursday after messages reportedly appeared on Facebook that called its passengers "chavs".

They also reportedly claimed the planes were full of cockroaches and alleged the airline's jet engines were replaced four times in one year.

In a statement, the airline said: "Virgin Atlantic can confirm that 13 members of its cabin crew will be leaving the company after breaking staff policies due to totally inappropriate behaviour.

"Following a thorough investigation, it was found that all 13 staff participated in a discussion on the networking site Facebook, which brought the company into disrepute and insulted some of our passengers.

"It is impossible for these cabin crew members to uphold [our] high standards of customer service... if they hold these views."

A spokesman for the airline added that there was "a time and a place for Facebook".

"There is no justification for it to be used as a sounding board for staff of any company to criticise the very passengers who ultimately pay their salaries.

"We have numerous internal channels for our staff to feed back legitimate and appropriate issues relating to the company."

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