The dirty little secret of air travel for flight attendants, especially female flight attendants, has been sexual harassment in the air.
As author and flight attendant Heather Poole put it in a recent article on mashable.com, there is a mentality that you can do whatever you want at 35,000 feet and get away with it.
Now, one airline is starting to crack down.
Jet2, a European budget carrier, had a couple arrested this week – and subsequently banned from the airline for life – for inappropriately touching members of the crew and for using foul language during a flight from the Canary Islands back to England.
London’s Daily Mall reported that, ironically, the couple was middle-aged – in their late 50s, early 60s, when normally the profile of such problematic passengers is either the rich businessman type or the frat boy. And, of course, alcohol is usually involved.
Phil Ward, managing director of Jet2.com, told the paper: “We know that incidents like this are affecting many UK airlines and it's only by taking a proactive stance and standing together as an industry that we will make progress. This is vital not just to protect the vast majority of our perfectly behaved customers, but also to look after our own team members. A large proportion of this pair's despicable verbal abuse was personal attacks on one particular crew member and this is simply unacceptable. We will always do everything we can to protect both our passengers and our employees."
The incident comes on the heels of another issue Jet2 had earlier this month when it banned three passengers – two for life – over what it called some of the worst behavior it has ever seen.
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