An 18 year old woman says she was groped by a male passenger on her Spirit Airlines flight for an hour. She took video! And she says flight attendants told her to “sit down and stay quiet” when she reported it.
She was traveling with family but they weren’t seated together. That is especially likely to happen when you don’t pay extra for seat assignments on Spirit. And, it seems, she made the blunder of switching seats with another passenger and winding up in a window seat in front of our pervert.
The man in her video can be seen reaching his hand towards her through the gap between the window and middle seat. She says he “kept touching her arms and breasts.” He was in his 50s or 60s, according to the woman. And she reports that when she showed video of a man to a flight attendant, “she was told to ‘sit down and stay quiet'” after the man denied it.
While she was reading her book before take-off, she said she felt a slight touch on the side of her breast, as if something was ‘caressing’ her.
She continued: ‘I wonder what this feeling could be, it was really subtle, and I reached my hand over and touched his finger tips.’…I realised that the man behind me is touching me, so I move my arm out of the way. ‘I thought it would stop there because he knows that I know that he was touching me because our fingertips literally touched.’
After a few minutes, she said she resumed her position but claimed he tried to touch her again, which was when she realised he was ‘trying to reach for my boob’….When she showed the video to members of staff, she claimed the man tried to deny it and she was told to ‘please calm down, sit down, be quiet’.
We don’t have the specific flight details. However video proof shouldn’t be necessary, and certainly allowing the incident to go on for an hour to amass proof shouldn’t be necessary either.
Even if a story of abusive behavior were being made up the passengers should be separated. Flight attendants shouldn’t be in the position of investigating the charges and sorting through conflicting narratives. They should document the incident and help passengers to be separated until people whose job it is to handle adjudication can do so.
In other words the passengers should be separated. Even on a full flight, asking other passengers to switch seems appropriate. Many would gladly do so, even without getting full details of the situation. It’s disturbing that didn’t seem to happen here. There’s much more video and commentary, five more parts on the woman’s TikTok account.
Stories about creeps on planes aren’t new, just as stories about people breaking down or getting high and causing disturbances or dangerous situations. Everyone from various backgrounds is crammed together inside a metal tube at 30,000 feet bad things can happen. It’s rare given the number of passengers and flights, but common enough that we hear about it all the time.
And while it’s usually not enough to say people need to keep themselves under control – often when we’re not dealing with masks, alcohol or drugs it’s things like one person’s “normal” impedes on another person’s “space.” But something as simple and common as one passenger groping another should entail a standard, supportive procedure.
Update: Spirit Airlines tells me,
Spirit Airlines is aware of a video involving claims of a passenger behaving inappropriately on a flight. We are in direct contact with the Guest who posted the video and are actively investigating. Spirit does not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind.