Virgin Atlantic fires 13 staff over Facebook remarks

LONDON - Virgin Atlantic has sacked 13 members of its cabin crew for insulting customers and criticising the airlines safety standards on social networking site Facebook.

Following an investigation, it was found that all 13 staff participated in a discussion on Facebook, calling customers "chavs", claiming that Virgin Atlantic's 747's were infested with cockroaches and that Virgin's engines require replacement several times a year.

Last week, the comments were left on a Facebook group page about planes flying out of Gatwick airport, which have since been removed.

In a statement, Virgin Atlantic, said: "It is impossible for these cabin crew members to uphold the high standards of customer service that Virgin Atlantic is renowned for if they hold these views."

"There is a time and a place for Facebook. But there is no justification for it to be used as a sounding board for staff of any company to criticise the very passengers who ultimately pay their salaries."

Virgin Atlantic said that staff are known for their world-class customer service and there was no place in its business for anyone who behaves otherwise.

"We have numerous internal channels for our staff to feed back legitimate and appropriate issues relating to the company."