Home Airlines Add “Poor Response To Alleged Sexual Assault On Their Plane” To What’s Wrong With Spirit Airlines

Add “Poor Response To Alleged Sexual Assault On Their Plane” To What’s Wrong With Spirit Airlines

by SharonKurheg

It’s so funny (not hahaha funny) how, just when I was seriously considering taking a flight on Spirit, things keep happening to let me know that I really shouldn’t. Last week it was the guy who had the 3 bad experiences on the airline. And now it’s Spirit’s response (or lack thereof) when one of their passengers accused another passenger of sexually assaulting her while in flight.

Tia Jackson, a 22-year-old Biology major, told CNN that she and her friend were on a flight to their home town to Detroit when she fell asleep on the plane. Her friend had the window seat, Tia was in the middle and a man was in the aisle seat. She fell asleep leaning on her friend, with her back to the man.

She woke up minutes before the plane was getting ready to land and felt the man next to her touch her. At first, she thought it was an innocent mistake and maybe he had just bumped her, but then she said the touch changed and she felt the man’s hand on the inside of her back of her pants, touching her thigh and buttock.

“He had taken his coat off,” Jackson told Detroit Fox 2. “I thought he had his coat on him, to cover him because he was cold. But he really had it over him to hide that he was trying to touch me while he was also touching himself.”

Jackson jumped up and pushed the call button, while yelling at the man to stop touching her.

The flight attendant came over quickly and offered to move her seat but Jackson didn’t want to leave her friend. Besides, she wasn’t the one who has caused any problems, he was. So why should she move?

She said she told the flight attendant, “He touched my bare ass! He needs to be moved!”

The plane was preparing to land by this point, so neither passenger was moved.

While they were being deplaned, Jackson said she told the pilot what happened; he suggested she tell the gate attendant.

Upon exiting the plane, she was disappointed that the airline had not summoned the police to talk to her, the man, or any potential witnesses. She said she felt ignored and mistreated, so she filed a report with the airport police.

Spirit’s side of the story is a little different.

“We take this claim seriously and are in direct contact with the guest. We thank our crew for their quick and professional assistance to address the situation,” the airline said in a statement.
“Our flight attendants on board that flight learned of the alleged incident 18 minutes prior to landing when the guest pressed the call button and received immediate attention. Once she told the flight attendant who came to her seat, the flight attendant directed her to a different seat. The cabin crew wanted to move her, as opposed to him, because the move would have left him with an empty seat on one side and an aisle on the other.”
“Law enforcement began its investigation immediately after the flight arrived,” the airline said. “We are supporting law enforcement as they investigate. Questions about that investigation should be directed to them,” the airline told CNN.
The case is now being followed by the FBI.

My thoughts

I find it disturbing that Spirit asked Tia Jackson to move, instead of the guy who she said was touching her. He was on the aisle so he would be easier to move. And wanting to keep him with an empty seat next to him is lame reasoning – just move him next to another guy, if need be. But continuing to have him sit next to her when she just said he touched her inappropriately is just wrong.
The pilot telling her to tell the gate agent is also ridiculous; it’s his plane and he’s the boss. He’s got more authority than anyone else on that plane. He should have been more pro-active than just suggesting she tell the gate agent.
Finally, to have not called the police so they could be on hand to talk to Jackson and guy who allegedly touched her immediately after the plane landed? Unforgivable.
Just add this to the truckload of reasons why I won’t fly on Spirit.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

derek January 23, 2020 - 3:23 pm

I take a different view. Moving is not punishment but meant to defuse the situation. She should have moved unless she wasn’t scared of the man or if she made it up. The man should be granted anonymity because it is possible that she made it up in order to get compensation. While there are male sex maniacs, like Harvey Weinstein, there are also sex crazed female criminals, like Mary Kay Tourneau and Anna Chapman.

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