While airplanes, and airports, are often midway points for connecting friends and loved ones on their journey – they sometimes leave individuals isolated and stuck in a sexually exploitive situation.
When an individual is sexually harassed or assaulted in-flight, they are trapped in an enclosed environment with limited options for movement. Intimidation that prevents individuals from speaking out, and ill-trained in-flight staff who are not prepared to handle such complaints, can converge to leave individuals suffering in silence.
Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to, unwanted sexual advances or attention including physical actions, speech, and viewing pornography in-flight.
Industry Failure to Proactively Train Staff to Address Sexually Harassing Actions, Speech, or Pornography-Use
- Airlines struggle with protecting flight crews and passengers alike from sexual harassment. Sara Nelson, a United Airlines flight attendant and president of the union, told CNN, “In my 22 years as a flight attendant, I have never taken part in a conversation — in training or otherwise — about how to handle sexual harassment or sexual assault.” CNN continued: “While policies exist, Nelson says that if they’re not elevated in airlines’ training, flight attendants are at a loss for what to do when confronting inappropriate — and sometimes criminal — behavior.”
- Airlines are chronically ill-prepared to address the growing problem of pornography on airplanes and the ensuing culture of sexual harassment that this fosters. While most airlines have a policy on paper against in-flight pornography use, they are not adequately training their in-flight crews or support staff to ensure they A) are consciously aware the policy exists or B) know how to enforce it.
No one should be subjected to endure a toxic and sexually hostile environment on an airplane.
Help us send major airlines the message that it’s time to better navigate sexual harassment on planes!