LIFE

Flight Attendant Accuses Delta Of Ageism After Her Surprising Firing: ‘I’ve Been There 57 Years’

by Stephanie Kaloi

Ida Gomez Llanos has spent 57 years of her life working as a flight attendant and says she has always done an excellent job.

So it came as a surprise when she was abruptly fired from her position with Delta Airlines this year.

The official reason for her firing? She says she was accused of taking a carton of milk from an airplane. But Ida suspects that her age and experience have a lot to do with why she was really fired.

Like many jobs, flight attendants gain seniority the longer they are employed. Ida was at a point in her career where she was making $250,000 a year — significantly more than what new flight attendants are making.

Veteran flight attendants also get their pick of routes, which is perk that Ida believes angered some of her fellow employees.

Ida says, “It was good, but you had to work a lot of hours if you wanted top pay. It wasn’t that everyone was working that. It’s just that I flew almost every day of the month. I took my job very seriously. I love my job.”

Delta has released a statement refuting Ida’s claims. In its statement, the company writes, “While Ms. Gomez had a long career at Delta, she was only one of more than 2,600 flight attendants with 40 or more years of seniority. Any suggestion that Delta terminated Ms. Gomez because of her age or for taking a catering item off a plane is false and grossly misleading. While Delta does not generally discuss the details of an employee’s job performance, it can say that Ms. Gomez was terminated only after being repeatedly counseled and disciplined for committing numerous policy violations, none of which were determined to be ‘fabricated’ as she now contends.”

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