Man Voluntarily Gives Up Business Class Seat So He Can Assault Woman in Coach

A Subway manager rubbed lotion all over a sleeping woman on a flight from Dubai to New York. On an Emirates flight from Dubai to Dar Es Salaam a passenger molested a flight attendant while taking a selfie.

United apparently placed some of the blame for a 15 year old allegedly being groped by an older man inflight on the girl’s short shorts.

A woman on a Las Vegas – Portland flight groped the breasts and genitals of another woman on the plane.

And all of these things happened this year.

But while not the single worst incident of the year (since it didn’t involve assault of a minor) I find this story perhaps the most surprising: A man gave up his business class seat in favor of a seat in the center section of coach flying Mumbai – Newark in order to grope a woman seated in economy once she fell asleep.

He was arrested after touchdown of Wednesday’s Air India flight AI191.

Prosecutors say the 40-year-old intentionally moved from his more expensive seat to sit beside the woman in an otherwise empty row in economy.

The woman awoke several times during the flight to find her blanket had been pulled down, they say.

She eventually woke up to find Parkar fondling her breast, according to police documents.

…’At some point during the flight, the victim fell asleep. Some period of time later and while the aircraft was still in flight flying towards the US, the victim awoke to find that a blanket that she had placed over her body had been removed.

…’A short while later, the victim woke up again, this time to find the blanket once again pulled down and defendant Parkar’s right hand inside of her shirt and on her left breast.’

Air India Boeing 777-200LR, Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo

The woman sought the assistance of the crew who ordered him to return to his business class seat. He kept asking to speak to the woman he had assaulted, but was told in no uncertain terms that he couldn’t. Instead he wrote two notes to her apologizing, saying in one that he “was stupid.”

He was stupid on so many level. Indeed, even before he committed the assault I’d be suspicious of anyone voluntarily downgrading themselves to economy on a Mumbai – Newark flight.

Some passengers would just be so much better off if they went to work for the TSA.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Its his word against hers. How will they prove it? I hope they don’t find him guilty just because she said so.

    They need to swab her breasts for his dna. That would be more believable but even that would be hard to prove in the hands 😉 of a skillful defense attorney.

    We used to burn witches. Now we burn wizards.

  2. I can see why business class was not appealing to him: seats are just too far apart and you can’t easily grope anyone. 🙂

    However we can see a new upgrade strategy for frequent flyers: choose your economy next to an attractive man/woman and then offer to exchange with biz class pax.

    Let’s hope that overexposure in blogs and FT doesn’t ruin it!

  3. Stop slurring TSA agents who are our only line of defense against hijackings, weapons onboard or being blown out of the sky!

    Until you can think of a better way to block every way of dozens known and unknown to slip things onto a plane, stop kneecapping those who we entrust to do this.

    This reminds me of the mindless idiocy of voting for a billionaire to represent the interests of working people he only has a history of ignoring, stealing or shutting down his own businesses to block his own employees from having a living wage. Now we get to fear nuclear annihilation because a third of the American people are too stupid to make choices involving basic survival! Just look at how fat most of them are – visual suicide!

  4. And, special thanks fir that last line in the story. You know, the gratuitous slam at the TSA which had NOTHING to do with the story. We get it. You don’t like TSA. There is no need to reinforce that in EVERY post.

  5. @Magnum: “Every post”..? Best I can tell there had been 1 post critical of the TSA in December so far out of about 150 posts.

    And in fact the TSA does touch up passengers. And the story in the link was about TSA agents who actually manipulated the screening process in order to feel up passengers they found attractive. That story is TRUE. It wasn’t a non-sequitur, there was a point being made, only it seems it was done too subtly and you missed it…

  6. The pervert: hey, where I come from, we just sexually assault these women and laws actually protect us! How dare you imbeciles try to call cops on me!

  7. The TSA bit gets old Gary. It doesn’t matter if it was 1 out of 150, because it wasn’t relevant. Your justification that you linked to a story about groping is no more relevant than had you linked to a story about a movie theater employee groping.

    As others have said, for all your never-ending anti-TSA slights, you’ve never actually stated what your proposal is otherwise. For a ‘thought leader’ in the space, one would think you’d have found time to do that since the TSA is apparently so close to you. Given you had over 150 posts in December alone, seems like lots of opportunity to do so.

  8. @RM actually I have written extensively on the alternative. And the reason it’s relevant that it’s “1 out of 150” is because the person I was responding to said it’s “every post.” You may not agree with those posts (but you sort of need to articulate an argument why) but I think it’s actually GOOD to confront things you disagree with, not run from them.

  9. For instance I’ve written that the most important things we’ve done to improve security are reinforce cockpit doors and adopted a mindset that passengers won’t sit idly if an aircraft is taken over, because the default assumption is that a hijacking ends in everyone dying rather than waiting it out everyone lives.

    I’ve argued that whereas the TSA performs badly, has for years, and is not getting any better (see their consistent failure rates at detecting dangerous items over a 10 year time horizon), that (1) Separating oversight from provision of services is better for security, efficiency, and customer service, and (2) airports that use private screening companies perform better — here in the U.S., in Canada, and in Europe.

    See for instance

  10. Greg and Magnum are stupid idiots.
    I guess they don’t mind getting groped by the TSA in order to feel ” secure” when flying.

  11. Sam you’ve never been groped by anyone. You just voted for the only certified groper.

    The only time I was ever even patted down was in Europe when they were under higher alert at airports. No one minds except fat US rednecks who don’t realize that would be traumatic for any security agent to lose their hands in all that Buford flab.

    Why don’t you hicks crawl back in your holes before you blow up the world?

  12. Greg.
    Your comment confirms your stupidity.
    You’re just plain wrong.
    I’m not a fat US redneck nor did I vote for a groper.

  13. The guy isn’t stupid. That implies he could have been smart about this. The guy is a sexual predator and an animal. Hopefully he will enjoy his time in prison.

  14. @RM — it was aboslutely relevant to mention TSA groping. The common thread is groping, or, more broadly, that Gary (and I do not fault him in the least for this, as it’s one of the features of his blog that I am amused by) likes prurient interest types of stories.

    Meanwhile, I’m glad he linked it, because I hadn’t read the TSA piece, but what was described may explain what happened to me recently at ORD, where I received a MUCH more thorough pat-down than I have ever received before, or want to receive again. Of course, I have no way of knowing that the machine was intentionally manipulated, but it did indeed turn up false positives in my armpit and groin area. That’s never happened before, and the agent certainly appeared to be performing his work with zeal.

  15. Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv has security protocol thats achieved through a combination of comprehensive due diligence, common sense, and consistency — which, one would think would be the objective of most major market airport authorities throughout the country, but we like to Pu**y grab here in the states

    All vehicles that arrive TVL must go through a preliminary security checkpoint where armed guards search the vehicle and exchange a few words with the driver and occupants to gauge their mood and intentions, Logan BOS my home airport has just a cranky Mass. state trooper outside with his arms crossed watching everything, in Israel Plain clothes officers patrol the area outside the terminal building, assisted by sophisticated hidden surveillance cameras which operate around the clock. Armed security personnel patrol the terminal and keep a close eye on people entering the terminal building. If any persons seem suspicious or anxious, security personnel will approach them and engage them in conversation in an effort to gauge their intentions and mood. Vehicles are subject to a weight sensor, a trunk x-ray and an undercarriage scan.

    Departing passengers are questioned by security agents before they reach the ticket counter. These interviews/talks could last as little as (1 minute) (remember that Washington state border guard that noticed a terrorist sweating on a 40 degree night) based on such factors as age, race, religion and destination or just looking creepy, that’s the entire population of Worcester Mass 😉 leaving alone the family’s just flying to see grandparents alone, I know I know what your thinking: terrorist will just try to blend in like a bitter New Yorker in a rush or a pats fan wearing a jersey over a hoodie, truth is skilled well payed security making say $100k? a year will do 10xs better thn our mediocre TSA that gets aroused by looking at him/her self in the mirror with a badge.

    Leave vetted passengers go through, leave the business traveler with the 15 year old Tumi 20″ alone, DO look closer at the strange bug eyed guy that pays cash for a one way ticket with no luggage.

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