Flying on an airplane is already an unpleasant enough experience. You’re rocketing through the clouds in an overcrowded tube.
One woman says that she awoke to find the man beside her masturbating beneath the blanket.
To make matters worse, she says that United took a month and a half to respond to her complaint — and that their response was an insult.
Her post begins with “*Trigger Warning*”
That is a great reminder that, though the term has been mocked into near-disuse by douchecanoes on the internet, “trigger warning” is a useful warning for people who aren’t eager to relive the worst moments of their lives.
“On June 4th I was on a #unitedairlines flight from Heathrow to Chicago,” her post explains.
“On this flight,” she continues. “The man next to me started masturbating.”
Masturbation in and of itself is a very healthy activity. Masturbating in public in front of a captive audience is absolutely disgusting.
“I woke up,” she describes. “And saw him touching himself under a blanket.”
That sounds like such an unpleasant experience.
“I woke the woman next to me,” she writes. “And got out of there to tell a flight attendant.”
She then says that “the attendants checked and confirmed that he was masturbating in public.”
What a weird job flight attendants have.
“Once I got up the woman next to me saw and she also got up,” she explains. “They gave us new seats.”
Unfortunately, she says that the flight crew was insensitive about the issue.
“They then started making jokes about the situation,” she says. “Asking ‘what perfume are you wearing’ and excusing him saying ‘he’s had a bit of wine.'”
Obviously, no type of perfume and no amount of alcohol excuses that.
She laments that “no one stopped him.”
“He was allowed to finish,” she writes. And here is where it gets worse.
She alleges that the masturbating passenger did all of this “with a child sitting closely by.”
“After exiting the plane first to talk to security,” she writes. “The security guard asked me if I’d like an apology from the offender.”
That sounds … absurd.
She says: “I immediately rejected the request.”
“It took @unitedairlines a month an a half to respond to my complaint,” she reveals. “And I received this email today.”
That email being the above image saying that there’s nothing that they can do.
“I am appalled at the lack of action taken in this situation in which as a woman, I was terrified.”
If you’re wondering why she was frightened rather than merely disgusted, it is important to remember that men who harass women by doing things like flashing or masturbating are sometimes working themselves up to commit assault.
“This man is clearly capable of much more,” she explains.
“So women and men out there,” she says. “Pick an airline that cares about your safety.”
She writes: “#unitedairlines referring to being assaulted on one of your flight as a ‘uncomfortable experience’ is a bit of an understatement.”
“Your lack of action is disgusting,” she says, tagging: “@united #unitedairlines #metoo”
While, going off of her description, the word assault doesn’t look accurate, that is a horrible, harrowing situation that absolutely should never have happened.
We’ve heard stories of women who were physically assaulted on planes, and in some of those cases, the perpetrator was also touching himself.
This definitely sounds like a #MeToo story. And it sounds like some professionals on the plane who should have known better were very insensitive about it.
Needless to say, the presence of a child in proximity to the alleged public masturbator is also alarming.
We understand that flight attendants possibly don’t train for this situation and probably hoped to avoid making an incident worse.
But … one would hope that United would be more apologetic.