United Airlines has forced out a flight attendant Arina Bloom for her TikTok videos. She reports that someone “made an anonymous complaint” about her, and though United had previously commented positively on her online presence it became a liability. She had posted “roughly 20 videos where she wore her uniform” and was in violation of company policy, and pressured to resign.
My airline was pretty much aware of my social media platform, they even commented on my video back in August so it’s not like I was hiding something.
But all of a sudden in December it became a problem.
I got in trouble for every single video where I appeared in my uniform which I do understand – every airline has their own rules.
She had posted onboard videos like this one.
She talked about her job, such as when flight attendants have to clean up after passengers getting sick in the aisle.
It was ultimately showing herself in uniform, effectively identifying her airline, that created problems. Bloom reports she has interviews to work at other airlines. She will, of course, lose her seniority.
It’s important to know your employer’s social media rules, and document any permission you may have where that’s required. And know that anything you do online could put you in jeopardy (Cf. ‘cancelled’). She’s certainly not the first person this happened to.
Ellen Simonetti made national news 17 years ago when she was fired from Delta after posting (rather tame by modern standards) photos of herself on board and in uniform on her “Queen of Sky: Diary of a Dysfunctional Flight Attendant” blog. She began blogging after losing her mother to cancer, and never mentioned the name of her employer but its markings were evident. This was, for some, a wake up call about the need for clear boundaries between work and online and the risks each posed to the other.