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Attendants say they were unfairly fired for refusing to fly

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Thirteen flight attendants have filed a federal complaint against United Airlines saying they were fired for refusing to fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong on a plane with the words “BYE BYE” and a pair of faces scrawled on it.

The flight attendants filed the whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday.

The drawings were traced in an oil slick on the plane’s tail cone. They included one smiling face but another that appeared to show eyes closed and a tongue sticking out.

The complaint says the flight attendants sought additional security measures and wanted the plane’s more than 300 passengers taken off the July 14 flight for a sweep.

United said in a statement that safety procedures were followed and the airplane was found to be entirely safe.