Anyone thinking one of the perks of working at an airport is the joy of spotting celebrities in transit might want to think again.
As long as airport officials stop at just witnessing celebrities, things will be fine but, Alex Duffy, security officer at the City of Derry Airport perhaps went a little overboard when he saw Girls Aloud's singer Nadine Coyle.
Alex asked Nadine for a picture together (at the security search area at airport) and she agreed.
Later, when Alex posted that picture on his Facebook account, things went haywire.
[caption id="attachment_105237" align="aligncenter" width="531" caption="Left to right: Alex, Nadine. Picture: Facebook"]
The picture attracted a number of offensive comments about Nadine.
Derby Airport was alerted to the situation and they took the extreme decision of terminating Alex's employment.
UK's local daily Metro says Alex was dismissed for "gross misconduct and bringing the company into disrepute".
While the Labour Relations Agency is now looking into the case, there are two versions of this incident.
According to the Herald, Derry City Council, which owns the airport, says Alex was in breach of clear rules:
"The photograph ... clearly showed you wearing your City of Derry Airport uniform and clearly showed that you were in the Security Search area.
You had previously been given a written warning for unacceptable and abusive behaviour in the workplace and posting a comment about a colleague on to Facebook.
It is clear that these behaviours had not improved during the eight-week interval as you had been told these behaviours should not be repeated and that you should refrain from posting anything on to Facebook that is company related."
However, Alex says, (according to Belfast Telegraph)
"My argument the whole time about this is that a complaint was not actually made by the person in question, Nadine Coyle. If she was aware of this, I believe that she would be able to back up my version of events and hopefully come to my defence.
She had been leaving Derry after that big concert (the opening concert of the City of Culture celebrations) last January.
When the picture of me with her was getting taken, one of the girls said 'that will be going on Facebook' and Nadine agreed that it would be. There was no problem.
I didn't think that what I did - taking a photograph and putting it on Facebook - would end up in me losing my job."
Looks like Alex tried reaching out to Nadine (through Twitter) for help:
And the saga is ongoing
Below is the picture that Alex had mentioned in the previous tweet.
[caption id="attachment_105172" align="aligncenter" width="553" caption="Picture courtesy: Alex Duffy's Twitter page"]
In social media, many argue that its (just) a picture that was taken with the consent of the singer and Alex' service termination is incorrect.
However, another bunch of people support the airport's decision by saying that approaching celebrities in airport while at work is a strict no.
This is not the first time someone in travel industry has landed in trouble because of social media.
A quick look at the immediate past tells us how the Air India pilot ranted about the airline in a YouTube video and fell into trouble, also the Russian airline Aeroflot's air hostess lost her job because of the picture she posted in social media that appears to show the finger to a cabin full of passengers.