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Lufthansa Flight Attendants Ordered Passengers to Delete Cellphone Footage of Cabin Carnage After Turbulence Rattled Plane

Lufthansa Flight Attendants Ordered Passengers to Delete Cellphone Footage of Cabin Carnage After Turbulence Rattled Plane

A flight attendant aboard a Lufthansa flight that was shaken by severe turbulence while flying from Austin, Texas, to Frankfurt earlier this month reportedly ordered passengers to delete photos and videos they had captured of the carnage inflicted upon the cabin, according to two passengers who shared their accounts with Insider.

Lufthansa flight LH469 was flying over Tennessee at an altitude of around 37,000 en route to Frankfurt when turbulence suddenly rocked the Airbus A330 without warning on March 1.

The turbulence struck without warning, and flight attendants were still in the midst of the main meal service after departure from Austin when passengers and crew were flung into the air as the plane suddenly dropped.

At least seven people were sent to the hospital for injuries sustained as they hit the ceiling when the plane plummeted without warning. Photos of the carnage inside the cabin as meal trays and personal items were flung around the plane were quickly shared on social media by passengers who were on the flight.

It turns out, however, that at least one of the flight attendants onboard the flight may have ordered passengers to delete the now-viral images for fear that the content could breach Germany’s strict data protection laws.

German law generally permits people to take photos of others in public spaces without their permission, but it’s forbidden to take a photo of someone if it shows their helplessness – say, after a car crash or perhaps after being injured in turbulence.

It’s also generally not permitted to share photos of people that can be identified in the photo without first obtaining their permission – which creates a legal grey area for photos taken aboard LH469.

Rolanda Schmidt was one of the seven people onboard LH469 who had to be taken to the hospital. She told Insider that a flight attendant made an announcement over the plane’s public address system, telling everyone to delete their photos and videos of the incident.

A few minutes later, the same flight attendant made a similar announcement and reiterated that the reason was to respect the privacy of other people onboard the plane.

The FAA is continuing to investigate the cause of the turbulence.

View Comments (4)
  • And then the flight was over US airspace so is that German rule still in effect?
    Like when air carriers fly over other national lands – the serving of Alcohol can’t be conducted.
    Or if the flight flies over the USA but does not stop – DHS still needs passenger manifests.
    Curious for a legal opinion on this

    • According to the ecthr, if the photos are in the publics interest then they may be published. In this case you can Argue that it is in the Publics interest as it can be a warning to how dangerous turbulence is.

  • It is the requirement of the airline, it has nothing to do with flying over the USA OR NOT, IN THE USA some airlines do not allowed passengers to record their crew members for security reasons…

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