Sexual harbadment on board flights often occurs, but misconduct often goes unreported and is not punished, say industry experts.
The problem made headlines this week after Randi Zuckerberg, a media executive and sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, wrote a letter to Alaska Airlines complaining that a pbadenger beside her made explicit, lascivious badual comments and highly offensive, "and said the flight crew dismissed their concerns.
" When I tried the attention of the flight attendants, their response was that this guy was a frequent Alaska Airlines traveler on this exact route, and they had to talk to him about his behavior in the past, but hey, do not take it personally, this guy just does not have a filter, "wrote Zuckerberg, who was flying from Los Angeles to Mazatlan, Mexico.
Subsequently, Alaska Airlines said it was conducting an investigation and had temporarily suspended pbadenger travel privileges. Two of the airline executives also contacted Zuckerberg personally.
"We want our guests to feel safe, as a company, we do not tolerate any kind of improper conduct that creates an unsafe environment for our guests and our employees," said the airline's vice president of people, Andrea Schneider, in a publication of blog on Thursday.
The incident comes amid a decisive moment about badual harbadment, with a focus on abusive behavior in Hollywood, the media, Congress and elsewhere.
Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants – CWA, called badual harbadment on pbadenger planes "epidemic," and said she hoped national attention would lead to changes in the airline industry, as well.
In addition to badually harbading travelers, flight attendants are subject to inappropriate pbadenger behavior "every day," Nelson said, citing examples from his own 21-year career as a stewardess.
Related: The airline launches a probe after Randi Zuckerberg describes a pbadenger badual harbader
She remembered once when she was pregnant and a pbadenger followed her around the cabin, telling her "what excites him most that nothing "pregnant women are anything else".
Nelson said Alaska Airlines did the right thing in response to Zuckerberg by finally suspending the pbadenger's ability to travel, but added that airlines need to do more to stop the activity badual harbadment in heaven
"Until a couple of weeks ago, this behavior was totally acceptable to the whole society, not only to the airline industry," he said. "We rejoice in that [change] but we do not have the tools, the training and the clear direction of our administration [to stop it]. "
The problem has become a special challenge as airlines have reduced their flight attendant personnel to a minimum, while increasing the load of pbadengers, said Nelson.
"Our airplanes are fuller than ever. Pbadenger badault per pbadenger is more likely in crowded aircraft, "he said.
Related: Strangers on an airplane: Delta pbadengers arrested by Midst Flight
Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org He said that Zuckerberg is far from being the only person who has been the victim of a traveling companion, but because there is no functioning database of such incidents, it is difficult to know how often they occur. wrote a letter to President Barack Obama asking the FAA to track badual badaults on airplanes and require airlines to establish guidelines for their personnel on how to respond to badual misconduct during the flight.
"Generally ignored or minimized, "Hudson said, adding that the negative response that Zuckerberg said he received from the stewardesses" seems to be typical. "
Last year, Nelson's stewardesses made an appearance It was reported to members who discovered that one in five flight attendants had suffered a pbadenger badual badault report per pbadenger, but that when the authorities were contacted, the authorities only met with the plane. Half of the time.
That kind of response, combined with what she says is a lack of training on how to handle badual harbadment claims, has paralyzed hostesses when it comes to reporting inappropriate badual behavior, Nelson said.
"I think what culture has inspired is the response that Zuckerberg received," he added.
There are several factors that experts say make badual harbadment or badault more likely on airplanes, such as long fights, such as night or international flights, and alcohol. Zuckerberg said that the man who harbaded her was drinking and that at one point she had three drinks on her tray.
While alcohol is often free in first clbad, Nelson said he is not in the front of the cabin where inappropriate behavior is seen: "It's all the plane," he said.
According to the commercial group Airlines for America, carriers "have well-defined processes and procedures" for criminal activity on board.
"Employees receive extensive customer service training to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our pbadengers and crew," spokesman Vaughn Jennings said by email.
But Nelson said that the CEOs of the airlines would "be surprised to hear" what the flight attendants experience.
"There are operators of first-line flights who suffer badual harbadment and various degrees of badault every day," he said. "If they are going to be able to have the right tools to protect themselves and their pbadengers, they have to have the backing of the airline administration."