American Airlines, flight attendant accused of recording girls in bathroom facing new lawsuit

Another potential victim of a former American Airlines flight attendant accused of secretly recording girls in airplane bathrooms learned of the alleged crime from the FBI.

An Austin family is suing him and the airline after learning their daughter may be a victim.

Estes Carter Thompson III is accused of recording minors in the bathroom of airplanes on which he worked. (Lynchburg Detention Center)

Estes Carter Thompson III is accused of recording minors in the bathroom of airplanes on which he worked. (Lynchburg Detention Center)

The girl’s family, like other families, had no idea their child was recorded until the FBI showed up at their home. 

"In my opinion, he is a serial pedophile," said Paul Llewellyn, who is an attorney for one of the victims’ families.

Parents of a 10-year-old girl in Austin, Texas received an unexpected knock on their home door which led to disturbing news.

"It was the FBI, every parent’s worst nightmare," Llewellyn said. "The FBI showed them a picture of their daughter using the bathroom, showing her exposed and said, ‘Is this your daughter?’"

An American Airlines flight attendant, 37-year-old Estes Carter Thompson III, was arrested last month for reportedly using his cell phone to secretly record young girls using restrooms on planes he worked on. 

The Department of Justice said Thompson guided girls to first-class restrooms, but before they entered, Thompson claimed he needed to wash his hands and that the toilet seat was broken. 

"The idea that he’s bringing kids up from the economy bathroom to first class…why didn’t that raise a red flag?" Llewellyn said.

The DOJ alleges Thompson hid his iPhone behind stickers reading, "seat broken."

A 14-year-old girl raised allegations during a flight from Charlotte to Boston last September and took this photo.


American Airlines flight attendant accused of recording minors using aircraft bathrooms: DOJ

Estes Carter Thompson III, 37, is accused of attempting to record a 14-year-old female passenger as she used the lavatory on the aircraft, according to the DOJ.

Federal investigators confiscated Thompson’s phone.

Authorities said his iCloud account contained inappropriate videos from airplane restrooms recorded in a similar way.

The FBI identified victims ranging in ages from 7 to 14.

"We know there were five families involved in the current criminal proceedings, but that’s just based on what the FBI learned from this phone, so who knows how many years he’s been doing this. Who knows how many phones he has used," Llewellyn added.

Llewellyn said the victim he represents was 9 years old when she was recorded.

The family was flying from Austin to Los Angeles to visit Disneyland for a gymnastics tournament in January 2023.

"So she was there with her parents, she was there with her teammates, her coaches, so what was meant to be a joyful event has now obviously taken a dark turn," Llewellyn said.

The girl’s family filed a lawsuit against American Airlines and Thompson on Tuesday. 

"So, I’m very certain there were red flags about this individual," Llewellyn said. "We’re going to want to know his personnel file. Had there been complaints about him? We want to know what the other flight attendants thought about him."

The girl’s family fears Thompson may have sent or uploaded photos to others.

"We may never know what happened to those images," Llewellyn said.

American Airlines did not respond to FOX 4’s email about this new lawsuit, but in past reporting about the criminal investigations, it said it is cooperating with law enforcement.