Flybe Pilot With a Fear of Flying Wins Unfair Dismissal Claim

Flybe pilot is suing the company after he was fired for developing a fear of flying 11 photos
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A plane pilot who developed an unexpected and apparently incurable fear of flying was fired from the low-budget airline company he had worked for for 10 years. A court has ruled that this was a clear case of unfair dismissal.
Matthew Guest worked as first officer for Flybe at the Birmingham Airport, UK. He had been flying for the company for 7 years when, in December 2014, he was promoted. The promotion also included longer flights: until then, he had only flown for a maximum of an hour and a half, but he would soon have to spent up to 4 hours in the air at a time.

That same month, he had his first panic attack on board a plane. The situation continued throughout 2016, with an episode in which he believed to have been cured of his new phobia. When it returned and he asked for sick leave again, he was sacked: the company sent him a note saying that they couldn’t risk their passengers’ safety by allowing him to continue flying.

Guest is suing Flybe for wrongful termination and, based on the first ruling of the court, he has a good chance of winning it. The Telegraph says that a judge sided with him at the hearing, noting that the proper procedure wasn’t respected when he was let go.

That’s not to say that he should have been allowed to fly the longer flights, though. However, he should have been allowed to meet with his supervisor before he was fired, to properly explain his situation. He should also have been offered the chance to resume his old job, which he would have taken.

As compensation, Guest is asking to be reinstated at his old job, that of first officer on short flights. In upholding his claim of unfair dismissal, the court has paved the way to getting his wish.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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