Ida Gomez Llanos, a former employee of Delta Airlines, had been a flight attendant for the company for 57 years when she was fired after being accused of stealing a carton of milk. The 79-year-old is suspicious that the accusation regarding the stolen milk was merely a cover story, allowing Delta to fire her without a reason. At 79, she had been with the company long enough that her salary was considerably greater than other flight attendants. She suspects that this is a stunt to allow Delta to hire newer, younger, and most importantly cheaper flight attendants. In fact, with the money that Delta would save from getting rid of Llanos, they could afford to hire as many as four replacement flight attendants. The timing of all of this Llanos finds rather suspicious, and she intends to act accordingly.

Llanos has filed a lawsuit against the company, which will be tried in Los Angeles, California. She claims that her co-workers had been levying a slew of unfounded accusations against her. In addition to the stolen milk, which Llanos says she had permission from her supervisor to take, she has been accused of stealing chocolate and sleeping while on the job. More seriously, another claim was made against Llanos that she was incapable of operating certain safety features on the airplane, though Llanos’ recent completion of her annual training suggests that this might not be true. In Llanos’ opinion, she herself has been the victim of a targeted campaign of unfair accusations and mean-spiritedness from some of her co-workers. The point of her lawsuit, then, is to try to prove that she was fired unjustly by Delta.

In her support, Llanos has gathered letters from older co-workers and from different passengers about her exemplary performance. Llanos claims that older flight attendants, who usually draw higher salaries than their younger counterparts, are watched much more closely, and unfairly so. It is indeed true that Llanos had never been written up once over her entire 57-year career with Delta, at least not until February 2018, when the milk incident apparently led to her being fired by the company. She was later put on probation and subsequently fired the following year. Delta, for its part, denies any wrongdoing in the case of Ida Gomez Llanos. According to a spokesperson from the company, the claims against Llanos had been looked into rigorously, and they also claimed that their decision to fire her was not made lightly. According to Delta, in addition to the claim regarding the stolen milk, a review of Llanos’ overall performance had been conducted, and other considerations were made before firing her. It is unclear when Llano’s lawsuit will be settled.