Photo of air hostess giving finger to passengers leads to firing

Posted Jan 29, 2013 by Anne Sewell
A photo posted to Vkontakte, the popular Russian social network, showed a Russian air hostess raising the middle finger to passengers on an airplane. The girl was sacked by Aeroflot, even though she says it is not her hand, nor was it their airplane.
The photo was tagged with the name of Tatiana Kozlenko on Vkontakte, and appeared on her wall way back in October 2011, and since that time has earned a lot of "likes."
All was fine, until the photo caught the attention of a renowned Russian blogger, Ilya Varlamov, who posted the image on Twitter, where it immediately got retweeted over a hundred times. Aeroflot got to hear about it and reacted immediately by firing Kozlenko.
However, the girl says that not only is that not her hand in the photo, the plane actually belongs to a different airline.
The whole thing has raised heated debate in the Russian Internet community with many bloggers disapproving of the company's decision and making posts like @oleg_kozyrev “Why do they blame someone for a photo posted on a personal page? This is common office humour. Is it prohibited to joke in Aeroflot?”
However, Aeroflot defends its position by saying on their official Twitter account on Monday, “The fact of posting a photo shows Tatiana’s attitude towards passengers and her duties. She acknowledged her fault when she spoke to the leadership of the company.”
Kozlenko, for her part, says, “I don’t consider myself guilty! The photo was added to my page, I only tagged myself on it!!! The hand isn’t mine, the plane is not my company’s!!! I don’t understand what they spoil my life for!!! I’m asking you for help and support!!!”
Apparently she is not the first Aeroflot hostess to lose her job over a post on the Internet, as last May, Ekaterina Solovyeva lost her job after she mocked the crash of a Sukhoi Superjet-100 in Indonesia in May 2012.
It not only happens in Russia is seems, as Virgin Atlantic fired 13 flight attendants in 2008 when they were found to be insulting passengers and discussing the airline's safely standards on Facebook.