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US Airways apologizes for lewd photo sent via Twitter

US Airways has apologized after a pornographic image was mistakenly sent out from its Twitter account.

The image was tweeted at least once in response to a customer who complained to US Airways in a tweet saying: “You ruined my spring break, I want some free stuff.”

American Airlines, which is in the process of merging with US Airways, offered both an apology and an explanation for the tweet.

"We apologize for the inappropriate image we recently shared in a Twitter response," spokesman Matt Miller told Today in the Sky by phone.

The lewd image was first tweeted at @USAirways from an individual’s Twitter handle. US Airways then accidentally included the image in a response to another customer via Twitter.

"Our investigation has determined that the image was initially posted to our Twitter feed by another user. We captured the tweet to flag it as inappropriate. Unfortunately the image was inadvertently included in a response to a customer," Miller said.

He said the company moved as quickly as possible to take down the tweet as soon as it realized what had happened.

"We deeply regret the mistake and we are currently reviewing our processes to prevent such errors in the future," he added.

The social media flap was the second to involve American Airlines on Monday. In the other incident, a 14-year-old girl from the Netherlands was taken into custody after she sent a terror-themed message to American’s Twitter account.

Reports: Dutch girl arrested after tweeting threat against American Airlines

The Twitter world has been atwitter after “Sarah” posted a threat Sunday against American Airlines. A number of reports said Monday that Dutch police have now arrested a 14-year-old Rotterdam girl for posting the threats.

The tweet from Sarah, also known as @QueenDemetriax, said: “@americanAir hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye”.

In a response, American Airlines tweeted “@queendemetriax_ Sarah, we take these threats very seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI.”

Describing the exchange, The Independent in London said that American sent its message saying that it was forwarding her IP address and details to the FBI just six minutes after the original twitter threat. Wrote The Independent:

The exchange was then picked up on by the wider public – @AmericanAir has more than 800,000 followers – and was followed by a flurry of messages from Sarah herself expressing her regret.

Among them, she wrote: “omfg I was kidding”… “I’m so sorry I’m scared now”… “I was joking and it was my friend not me, take her IP address not mine”… “and I’m not from Afghanistan”.

American later deleted its tweet, and Sarah has apparently taken her account private.

According to Business Insider, Dutch police said they acted on their own volition, not because of a request from American.

So, how serious should we take this brouhaha? The Twitterverse is buzzing.

“Why is everyone so happy that @queendemetriax got arrested? What if she was just joking and didn’t think @AmericanAir would see her?” wrote ‏@Lobna2001.

“isn’t it funny how 99% of the people who are defending @queendemetriax aren’t even american lmao ok,” caro ‏@dropsofIoupiter wrote.

American was playing it cool Monday, just stating: “”At American, the safety of our passengers and crew is our number one priority.  We take security matters very seriously.”

Dutch News.nl had this quote:

“Her tweet has led to worldwide turmoil,” a police spokesman told nu.nl. “She will be interviewed on Monday evening. Then we will wait and see what happens next.”

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I do not represent any airline, airport or any other company within the travel industry.

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