Alaska Airlines' pre-flight safety announcement now includes a stern warning about inappropriate behaviour on the plane.
Alaska Airlines is taking in-flight sexual assault and harassment seriously and in pre-flight announcements, it now asks passengers to report inappropriate behaviour to crew members.
"If you experience or observe an incident of sexual harassment or assault during a flight, please notify a flight attendant immediately. Ring the call button if you're unable to move out of your seat. If needed, the flight crew can contact law enforcement to meet the aircraft upon landing."
An increased focus on harassment came to the attention of Alaska Airlines after a handful of recent incidents including a San Diego passenger who was banned from the airline for alleged inappropriate touching of a flight attendants. The passenger claimed he was only touching the flight attendant to get her attention so he could order a cocktail.
Another well-publicised incident involved entrepreneur (and famous sister to Facebook CEO) Randi Zuckerberg, who took to Facebook to describe an incident of harassment by an intoxicated seat mate on Alaska Airlines where flight attendants asked her to move instead of the harasser. She eventually updated that post after Alaska Air suspended the passenger's flight privileges and launched an internal investigation.
In a post on the Alaska Airlines blog, flight attendant Krystle Berry said, "So many of us have been the object of inappropriate comments or touching...The objectification of flight attendants has been an issue in our industry since our career was invented". Berry went on to say that harassment comes in many forms and not always what you'd expect. "I remember an instance involving a young male flight attendant," she explained in the blog post. "It was a bachelorette trip to Cabo. The female passengers were grabbing him and pulling him onto their laps. We were in the back saying this is not ok. He didn't feel like he should say anything because he is a man and men don't often come forward after being assaulted.".
Reacting to the several incidents, a spokesperson of the airlines said, "We've continued to partner with the FBI and Port of Seattle to raise awareness among flyers and improve our processes for working together when assaults are reported. As a company, we are committed to being part of the solution."
What do you think about inappropriate behaviour on planes? Have you witnessed it? Please leave your thoughts below...