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American Airlines Forces Woman to Remain Seated Next to Masturbating Passenger

Another day, another story about how airlines are treating people like garbage. This time, American Airlines knowingly allowed a woman to sleep next to a male passenger who was masturbating in the seat next to her.

Chloe King boarded an international flight from New York City to Paris. Sitting at the window, she fell asleep, and while she dreamt of the steaming croissants and priceless art that awaited her in France, the man next to her had something else on his mind.

A woman sitting on the other side of the man saw what was happening and asked to move her own seat. The flight crew accommodated her wishes and moved her immediately, but failed to inform King about the incident until she had woken up on her own.

Once she was awake, a flight attendant told King what had happened, and that the French police would arrest the man upon landing. However, King’s reasonable desire to change seats was not accommodated, and she was forced to sit next to the man for the duration of the flight.  

“I was shaking and crying and trying not to get sick,” King said, reflecting on the rest of her flight. “I’ll never know exactly what happened on that flight, but I do know I’ll never feel completely safe flying again.”

It looks like American Airlines airplanes have been added to the long list of places where a woman can be made to feel anxious and vulnerable.

“American always strives to maintain a safe and comfortable travel experience for all of our customers,” the airline responded in a written statement. “We are reviewing how we handled the situation on this flight, and have reached out directly to Ms. King. During the flight, our crew requested that French law enforcement meet the aircraft in Paris. Upon arrival, French officials interviewed the male passenger regarding the allegations.

According to King, when she arrived in Paris, she reported what had occurred to the American Airlines desk and “was met with blank stares.” She then contacted the American Airlines legal team, and after weeks with no response, all she received was a generic email regarding the “disappointing service.”

“I was the victim of a sexual crime,” said King. “American Airlines knew what happened was criminal activity — therefore had the offender arrested — yet did nothing to stop the man’s actions or protect my safety in a horrifying situation. [American Airlines] chose to treat the man committing the crime with far more respect than the unconscious woman sitting beside him. As humans, we deserve more than that.”

Featured Image by Oliver Holzbauer on Flickr
Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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