Did Delta Hack Email Accounts Of a Passenger Rights Group?

That’s the allegation made in the following lawsuit:

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Delta Air Lines Inc. is accused in a lawsuit of using “stolen e-mails” from a consumer group as part of an effort to stem passenger-rights legislation in the U.S. Congress.

The suit from Kate Hanni, executive director of the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights, was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston.

Hanni alleges that her e-mail account was hacked starting in 2008 and continuing into this year, according to a news release from the law firm handling her case. An employee of a Delta contractor said in an affidavit he was fired after his company confronted him over e-mails with Hanni. Delta was concerned the information would be used to enact passenger- rights legislation, according to the affidavit.

Hanni’s group, also known as FlyersRights.org, has been spearheading efforts to persuade Congress to pass legislation requiring airlines to let passengers off planes stuck on tarmacs after three hours. Airlines oppose the bill, saying it may worsen delays.

Source: Delta Accused of Using Stolen E-Mails Against Group (Update2) - Bloomberg.com

It’s bullshit that they can keep you locked in a plane for three or more hours.  I’m curious as to whether anyone has ever filed a false imprisonment lawsuit against an airline for that policy?  I would suspect such a lawsuit would be preempted by federal law, though…