United passenger: Drunk man groped me while flight attendants said ‘there’s nothing we can do’
A New Jersey woman said an intoxicated man sexually harassed her while she sat next to her 12-year old daughter on a United flight, ABC 7 reports.
Somerset County’s Jennifer Rafieyan said she was flying from Newark to Phoenix for a family vacation in March when the flight attendant sat a man next to her in the aisle seat.
“I saw the flight attendants bring a very intoxicated man down the aisle, she had her hands on his hips, she put him in the seat next to me,” Rafieyan said.
According to Rafieyan, the man “started touching my leg, grabbing my knees, holding my hand.”
“I kept holding his hand because it was better than him touching my knee and leg,” she added.
Rafieyan said she wrote a complaint to airline, noting “both flight attendants gave me warnings about him” prior to sitting him next to her. She also wrote: “He started to harass me immediately, constantly holding and kissing my hand, grabbing my knee, stroking my leg…etc., and wrote a note that he wanted me to have a passionate night.”
Rafieyan noted that she complained to a flight attendant who shrugged it off. “I’m sorry. We felt really bad putting him next to you but there was nothing we could do,” Rafieyan recalled her saying.
United responded with “a form letter saying my feedback would help them improve services.”
“I’m sorry for your family’s disappointing and uncomfortable flight to Phoenix,” United’s letter read. “As a gesture of goodwill, a separate email with four electronic travel certificates will arrive soon to make amends.”
Rafieyan said the airline was “in clear violation of two FAA regulations safety regulation. She refuses to use their “goodwill” voucher, and instead plans to push for changes.
“I want to know why they broke them and why that was justified, and I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she said.
Rafieyan’s account comes less than a week after Dr. David Dao was ripped from his seat by Chicago airport police after the airline chose him to involuntarily give up his spot for a United flight attendant. At a press conference Thursday, lawyers for Dao said the man suffered a concussion, a broken nose and lost two front teeth in the incident, and will require reconstructive surgery.
On Sunday, a Calgary man was flying United when a scorpion fell from an overhead bin and stung him.
Watch the local news report below, via ABC 11: