The awful treatment of a bloodied man physically dragged from a United flight this week has prompted another flyer to come forward with her own distressing experience with the airlines.
Forty-seven-year-old Jennifer Rafieyan was traveling with her 12-year-old from Newark, New Jersey, to Phoenix in March. In an interview with The Huffington Post, she stated she was sexually harassed and groped by a “visibly drunk” man. However, when she complained about his behavior to the United staff, they responded by serving the already quite inebriated man more alcohol.
Rafieyan said the man came up to her by sitting in the empty aisle seat next to her. He was so inebriated that he needed assistance to get to his seat. What followed was a nearly six-hour ordeal for the woman.
“He rubbed her legs, grabbed her knee, kissed her hands, put his head on her shoulder and snatched her pen and notepad to add “PASIONAT NITE XX” to the to-do list she was writing,” The Huffington Post reported.
“That really grossed me out... my daughter was right there,” Rafieyan told the website. “I don’t react well. I freeze. When a man is inappropriate with me, I usually just run from it and maybe tell somebody. But I felt trapped. I couldn’t leave the seat because I didn’t trust him near my daughter.”
Eventually, Rafiyean reported the man to a flight attendant, who, in response apologized to the woman but told her there was nothing the staff could do. Worse, the attendant kept serving the man more alcohol — “three more whiskeys and a small bottle of wine.”
Later, when Rafieyan filed an official complaint about her experience on the flight, United reportedly responded by sending her “four $100 travel vouchers.”
So, the airline, essentially, responded to a sexual harassment complaint by serving more alcohol to the alleged offender and travel vouchers to the victim.
Rafieyan felt more enraged about her case after finding out how United, in the same month, humiliated two adolescent girls for wearing leggings.
“It seems like they have their priorities totally warped,” she remarked.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters