Saturday 19 October 2019

Pilot sacked for fear of flying 'told to do crosswords when he felt anxious'

 

Matthew Guest, a first officer, had been with Flybe for almost a decade but became anxious and had “panic attacks” after being promoted to longer flights, a tribunal heard. Stock image
Matthew Guest, a first officer, had been with Flybe for almost a decade but became anxious and had “panic attacks” after being promoted to longer flights, a tribunal heard. Stock image

Hayley Dixon

A pilot sacked for being scared of flying has won an unfair dismissal claim after a tribunal heard he was told to do a crossword when he raised concerns about his phobia.

Matthew Guest, a first officer, had been with Flybe for almost a decade but became anxious and had "panic attacks" after being promoted to longer flights, a tribunal heard.

On one occasion, Mr Guest twice raised concerns with a boss about a four-hour flight, but was told to do a crossword or read a book while the plane was cruising.

He called in sick the next day and has not flown since.

An employment judge has now ruled he should have been offered alternative roles or at least an opportunity to discuss his case with Luke Farajallah, the group chief operating officer.

The father of two is now asking to be re-employed by the low-cost airline. The matter will be decided next month.

Irish Independent

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