What you can do in the air, after

Sexual assault on an airplane: what you can do in flight, after

Lola Mendez


  • Commercial flights are not lawless and sexual abuse is a crime.
  • The FBI reported that in-flight sexual assaults increased by 30% between 2018 and 2019.
  • The FBI retains jurisdiction to investigate crimes committed on US aircraft, airspace, or assaults involving US citizens.

On a recent flight, the tall, muscular man in the middle seat next to me was watching nude footage of himself on his phone. He tilted his phone towards me and zoomed in on his penis.

Feeling extremely violated and fearing that he would touch me, I got up quietly to alert the flight attendant. They went to talk to the man, but they wouldn’t sit me down. I didn’t know what the passenger was capable of and I was afraid that he would get revenge for talking about him.

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