On a Spirit Airlines flight from Atlanta to Detroit, a Michigan woman said another passenger assaulted her while she was sleeping on the plane.
Tia Jackson, 22, narrated her ordeal to CNN and said she was sandwiched by her friend who sat by the window and the passenger was in the swat close to the aisle.
Jackson said she slept during the flight leaning on her friend with her AirPods as her back faced the ‘random’ man in the aisle seat.
Moments before the plane landed while still asleep, she felt someone touching her but was confused as to what was happening at the time.
“Then I thought, maybe he just bumped me,” she said. What felt like a touch initially, now felt different and the man’s hands found its way into the back of her panties, according to Jackson.
She got startled by what was happening and quickly jumped and pushed the call button, she said, and told the man, “Hey — you are going to stop touching me! Get off me!”
Although the flight attendant was notified and offered to move Jackson’s seat, Jackson declined because she didn’t want to leave her friend. To her, it felt as though she was being punished for what the man had done.
“He touched my bare ass! He needs to be moved!” she said she told the flight attendant.
According to Jackson, they both sat through the flight until the plane landed at Detroit airport. She then complained to the pilot as she was exiting the plane but was told to speak to a gate agent instead.
Feeling ignored and mistreated by the airline, Jackson filed a report with the police at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
In a statement by Spirit Airlines, they said, “We take this claim seriously and are in direct contact with the guest. We thank our crew for their quick and professional assistance to address the situation.
“Our flight attendants on board that flight learned of the alleged incident 18 minutes prior to landing when the guest pressed the call button and received immediate attention.
“Once she told the flight attendant who came to her seat, the flight attendant directed her to a different seat.
“The cabin crew wanted to move her, as opposed to him because the move would have left him with an empty seat on one side and an aisle on the other.”
The landing was imminent at the time Jackson refused to move and everyone needed to be seated as federal regulations obliged all passengers to be.
“Law enforcement began its investigation immediately after the flight arrived,” the airline said. “We are supporting law enforcement as they investigate. Questions about that investigation should be directed to them.”
Jackson will not keep quiet about her incidence because she would not want others to go through the same ordeal.
“He needs to be held responsible. He is a predator. He displays predatory behavior. Who knows who else he has done this to,” she said. “I don’t want anyone else to ever have to fall victim to him.”
She blamed the airline for ‘failing’ her when she reported the purported incident.
“They let him and any potential witnesses leave,” Jackson said.
Investigations are being handled by the FBI, according to the Police and their report has not been finalized as well.