United Passenger Recorded People in the Lavatory, How He Was Caught Proves He’s a Moron

A woman flying first class on United Airlines flight UA646 from San Diego to Houston on May 5 went to the lavatory and “noticed a device with a blue blinking light…near the cabinet and wall area, close to a door hinge.”

She thought it might be part of the plane, but she used a paper towel to take it down and she gave it to a flight attendant. On arrival in Houston the crew turned it over to United’s corporate security department.

A Halliburton employee who was also in first class on that flight has been charged with “video voyeurism within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.” How he was caught is incredible. He inadvertently taped himself installing the recording device in the lavatory. United “watched the footage and saw a man installing the device in the bathroom in first class on that same flight.” That’s pretty good evidence.

Officials say they couldn’t see the man’s face, but he wore clothing and jewelry with distinct details. He wore a watch on his left hand and a small bracelet on his right wrist.

…FBI San Diego had video footage of all the passengers boarding United Airlines Flight 646. A man wearing the same clothing as the person seen in the bathroom video was spotted in the San Diego boarding area. He also wore glasses and carried a black backpack.

United Airlines Houston

The man was identified by his clothing and video from the airport showed his face.

This wasn’t a one-off incident either. United corporate security turned the device over to the FBI who recovered deleted files from it, which showed two women caught on camera in an Emirates lavatory including an Emirates flight attendant. Halliburton confirms the man flew Emirates on a business trip, and he was identified at work “wearing the watch and bracelet that matched the jewelry seen on camera on the United Airlines flight.”

The rarely-used law the man is charged under was “added to the U.S. code in 2004” and forbids “capturing images or video without consent of a someone’s genitals or ‘any portion of the female breast’ in a location where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.” The man faces a year in prison.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Just a year? Time to go back to that law and increase the penalty. At least I hope it’s safe to assume he won’t be flying first class for work again.

  2. Minimum s/b 3 years in Federal pen;
    ID name, age, address.
    No fine?

    But what about his job status? Story currently reads his employer will hold his job for the 12 months?

  3. from the linked article:

    “Choon Ping Lee has been charged with video voyeurism within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

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