We often read about cases of Air Rage when passengers are causing trouble and endangering not only the aircraft, the crew, other passengers but also themselves.  That they should be punished is correct But there are odd and rare cases when it is the passenger who is abused . In my case not only was I abused but also  framed by the Cabin Crew on Virgin Flight VS005 on the 14 February l997.  If you can imagine the distress and horror that was imposed on my family and myself when I was arrested by the Dade County Police on arrival in Miami.  The Captain (Tony Slaney) had ordered my arrest without ever speaking to me.  I had no idea at all that the Police would be awaiting me that I would be threatened with imprisonment and deportation from the United States. How could I know as I had been sitting quietly reading my newspapers and drinking Virgin Cola.   The Police refused to tell me what I had done to be taken into custody.  It was the arrival of FBI Agents who interrogated the crew and my family that eventually led to my release.    They told me that the allegations made to them in the presence of their Captain by the Virgin Atlantic Stewardesses was that I had sexually molested them during the flight.   These are trusted Flight Attendants and a Captain employed by a respected Airline so it does seem rather strange that the FBI Agents released me . The Immigration Officer who was present at all the FBI interrogations then stamped our passports and said "have a nice vacation, you are free to go, there is no black mark on the immigration computer"

      Imagine the distress that this caused all of my family.  I was facing imprisonment and deportation on the complete fabrication of stories made up by these Flight Attendants. I later discovered that the allegations were that I had sexually molested five female Flight Attendants  YES FIVE. I must have been busy and I do hope somebody else on the Aircraft saw me molesting these ladies.
Letters sent to Richard Branson have never warranted the courtesy of a reply.  No reply was ever received from Steve Ridgway, General Manager of Virgin Atlantic Airlines.

    Virgins's Lawyers claimed the protection of the Warsaw Convention blocked legal action in the USA.  After waiting six months for a Court hearing in Florida Virgin's lawyers would ask for a postponement the day before the hearing. It was then postponed for another six months. This action in the USA was at my own expense.   I  recently wrote to Steve Ridgway and suggested that I must be mad or telling the truth to start legal action against such a big corporation. Maybe he had better have another look at my complaint against his Five Flight Attendants. I also informed him that I had established a website This being the only way I had to hit back at this big company who don't answer my letters.

I also accused Virgin Atlantic of covering up the misdeeds of these five and giving them A LICENSE TO ABUSE PASSENGERS in the comfortable knowledge that the airline will protect them at all costs.

    A few days later I got a letter (dated 3 Aug 99) from VIRGIN'S Legal Department (unsigned) Threatening action against me and informing me, I quote " The Web site clearly contains defamatory material about Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd and it's employees. Should any of Virgin Atlantic employees named on the web site choose to take action against you they will have the full support of the company".   In other words they were confirming my earlier statement. They have given their crews A LICENSE TO ABUSE PASSENGERS.

    Virgin Atlantic is a big and powerful Corporation.  Richard Branson likes to style himself as the WHITE KNIGHT OF THE AIRLINES. That he is always trying to get the great British public a fare deal. I really did think that when I wrote my initial letter to Richard Branson that he would launch a proper investigation, that he would be so HORRIFIED that cabin crew employed by him would fabricate such a vicious lie to have an innocent fare paying passenger put in prison.  Such an incredible story needed investigation at the highest level.  How wrong I was….  I have met only with lies and deceit from Virgin Atlantic Airlines. They closed my web site down (30 July 1999) by threatening legal action against the Web Hosting Company. A pity because complaints were coming in from other unhappy Virgin Atlantic passengers. Hopefully the web site will be back on the net soon. Virgin's lawyers have sent letters threatening all sorts of legal action.  What a pity that they couldn’t respond to my request for a proper investigation and interview. What a pity that they chose to ignore my letters. They then got their lawyers to wave a big stick at me. They just hoped that I would go away.  What is amazing is that the correct action for Virgin Atlantic would have been to launch a prosecution against the GANG OF FIVE CONSPIRATORS who committed a Criminal act to falsely accuse an innocent passenger of committing a dastardly crime at 35,000 feet.

     Referring to the Newspaper headlines at the beginning of this story.  The Virgin Atlantic Flight Attendants had plotted to put me in Prison. Luckily my wife and daughter were with me. Fortunately the investigation at Miami Airport was conducted by two FBI Agents who after interviewing all concerned decided in their own words "do you think this is a conspiracy".

    If Richard Branson, Steve Ridgway and Virgin Atlantic want to shut me up they can do it very simply. Conduct a proper investigation as I have requested and stop protecting the five lying Flight Attendants who had organised a conspiracy to put an innocent passenger in jail. An apology would be nice.

                                    With all sincerity      Mr Edward. Phillips.

E Mail address Virginlies@AOL.COM       Website

If we look at the story as described in these pages and what I have written is true and it is. Then it means that the officials of Virgin Atlantic Airlines conducted an inquiry and realised that they were in the embarrassing situation of being unable to apologise to the passenger that their crew had wronged. If they apologise then it would indicate that they admit that the crew were guilty of GROSS MISCONDUCT and that the Airline would be forced to pay something in compensation to this passenger and his family.  EVEN WORSE this would entail a lot of bad publicity from the press and other rival Airlines would rub their hands with glee at the thought that Richard Branson was not the WHITE KNIGHT OF THE AIRLINES but instead he was ruling over a Cabin Crew and Captain who handled a simple situation so badly that they were quite prepared to put an innocent passenger into prison. There must have been an internal inquiry, which came to the decision that whatever action the passenger took he was unlikely to have the funds to fight a large corporation such as Virgin Atlantic Airlines. That in this case no apology should be made and he should be fobbed off and bring his correspondence to an end a soon as possible.
 THE DECISION WAS MADE BY ?         Yes who makes the decision in such a case?  Is it Richard Branson The Big Boss? Is it Steve Ridgway, General Manager?  AFTER ALL WHERE DOES THE BUCK STOP?…………
THE DECISION WAS MADE BY SOMEBODY To protect the crew and the Captain. .We must now do everything we can not to soil the good name of VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRLINES.

     The passenger started legal action in the Florida Courts. Fight him off, do not let him get into court (Protect our good name). Wait until the day before the court hearing and then ask for a postponement, We can go on for a long time doing this.
The passenger's costs will escalate and as time goes by he will give up.

     The passenger has started a Website to hit back at the Airline Get the lawyers to send a threatening letter tell him we will take legal action if he continues with the defamation of our corporation. Tell him we will support any of our crew members named on his website if they want to take legal action against him. A couple of lawyer's letters should frighten him off. Get the Website closed down and get his domain name struck off. WHO NOW IS GUILTY OF THE DIRTY TRICKS?

    What was the correct procedure of Virgin Atlantic Airlines? To apologise?
To offer compensation? the What would the offended passenger have done if the Airline had followed this procedure?  Then we come to those Flight Attendants who very naively lied to support the In Flight Supervisor (the chief conspirator) and save her skin without any regard for the passenger that they were going to put in jail or of what could happen to their own careers.

     VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS and Chairman RICHARD BRANSON have threatened to take legal action against the passenger who is crying and pleading for an inquiry and Justice. The honourable thing to do was to take legal action against the five conspirators WHO COMMITTED A CRIMINAL ACT, they should have been sacked on the spot.….