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A former United Airlines flight attendant alleged in Cook County Circuit Court last week that he was fired for complaining about the carrier's routine violations of federal passenger boarding regulations.

Claiming a violation of the Illinois Whistleblower Act and other laws, Malcolm Hamilton alleged he was fired after reporting to the Federal Aviation Administration that United had an “unofficial, unspoken policy” requiring flight attendants to file false reports on when all arriving passengers had left the plane, to avoid an “overlap” with reports on when departing passengers start boarding.

FAA regulations and United's stated policies require all arriving passengers to leave the plane before boarding can start, the lawsuit said, but financial pressures have led United to minimize the amount of time spent at the gate between flights.