A former Aer Lingus flight attendant is suing his ex-employer because he was allegedly sacked when he failed to secure a new airside pass following police vetting. An airside pass is required for all airline staff to gain access to secure areas in an airport but they can’t be granted to many people with previous or pending criminal convictions.
Lorcan Delaney applied to have his airside pass renewed in December 2019 but his application was temporarily rejected when Garda vetting revealed he had a pending prosecution for possession of drugs reported the Irish Independent.
Mr Delaney was initially placed on unpaid leave while the issue was resolved but when he still didn’t have an airside pass in February 2020, Aer Lingus allegedly sacked him. The former crew member has accused the airline of unfair dismissal.
He was originally arrested in June 2019 while at a music festival on suspicion of being in possession of a small amount of cannabis and MMDA. During his trial in May 2020, the case was dismissed because the judge accepted that the drugs were for personal use only and Mr Delaney had never been in trouble in the past.
If the case had been dismissed by the time Mr Delaney was due to renew his airside pass, he argues he would have passed police vetting, the pass would have been renewed and his employment with Aer Lingus would have continued.
A High Court judge, however, has thrown out Mr Delaney’s preliminary bid to obtain an injunction against Aer Lingus. Mr Delaney had been asking for the airline to pay the difference between what he was earning at the moment in a minimum wage job and what he had earned in the previous year as a member of cabin crew.
The judge noted though that since the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of Aer Lingus cabin crew have been made redundant and those who do remain are currently being paid just 60 per cent of their previous wages. As a result, it was likely that Mr Delaney was currently earning more in his current job than if he hadn’t been dismissed by Aer Lingus.
While Mr Delaney failed to win an injunction for relief against his former employer, a full court hearing is still to be heard. Aer Lingus denies unfair dismissal. If the court sides with Mr Delaney, he is seeking reinstatement in his job as cabin crew.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.