Delta pilot sues airline for allegedly stealing app he developed
(Photo : Photo by Shoval Zonnis from Pexels)

Captain Craig Alexander sued Delta Air Lines Inc. for more than 1 billion dollars as he claimed that they stole his app.

The app was a text-messaging app used for flight crews that the airline stole and used as a blueprint for its app, Alexander mentioned.

Delta said that they aren't accurate nor a fair description of how the airlines operate.

What Was Allegedly Stolen

Captain Alexander sued the Atlanta-based Delta for using trade-secrets theft in the Georgia state court on Monday. He said that he spent $100,000 of his own money developing an app called QrewLive.

He pitched it through the airline as a means of crew communication snafus right after disrupted flights.

Bloomberg was able to report that Delta then turned Captain Alexander down, but then went on and launched a very identical tool, as he claimed.

  • Keenan Nix, Alexander's lawyer said that the airline "stole like a thief in the night," and then defrauded its own loyal employee. Alexander is an 11-year veteran of Delta, flying a Delta 757 even "as we speak" in an interview on Wednesday.

Delta faced the accusations.

"While we take the allegations specified in Mr. Alexander's complaint seriously, they are not an accurate or fair description of Delta's development of its internal crew messaging platform" says Morgan Durrant, spokesperson for Delta.

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What Went Down

Back in August 2016, There was a five-hour power outage resulting in hundreds of flight cancellations during that time and cost Delta $150 million.

Alexander went out and emailed Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian during that time and said that he had a solution for the problem. Bastian then allegedly responded and referred Alexander to the company's chief information officer.

Bastian and Rahul Samant, CIO, are both named in the lawsuit alongside four other Delta top brass.

Alexander said several positive meetings occurred during 2015 and 2016. The top brass made it clear to Alexander at that time that they were very much interested in the app itself. 

However, this was not the case, and eventually cut off discussions entirely and launched its own crew app in April 2018 now called Flight Family Communications.

The Billion Dollar Lawsuit

Alexander said that the "'FFC' is a carbon copy, knock-off of the role-based text messaging component of Craig's proprietary QrewLive communications platform."

The pilot also noted in the lawsuit that Bastian and Samant both boasted to their investors how smooth the app operated, as told by Engadget

Alexander is seeking not only at least $1 billion as the operational costs and savings from the app he developed saved Delta over $1 billion, but punitive damage as well. 

The suit claims that Captain Alexander is still using the FCC app everyday and it truly hurts him as he is reminded of what Delta airlines has done to his proprietary trade secrets for their financial benefit.

The case is named Alexander v. Delta Air Lines Inc., 21A03275, Georgia State Court, DeKalb County.

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Written by Alec G.

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