Spirit Airlines has landed in hot water over their response to a sexual assault claim that happened to a female passenger aboard a flight earlier this month. On August 23rd 2011, Dana LaRue fell asleep on board a flight leaving Los Angeles and awoke to find a fellow passenger fondling her. “I woke up to find him pressed up against my arm, one hand on my leg, the other hand fumbling around my breasts.”



LaRue says she was paralyzed with fear and unable to report the attack right after it happened, in flight. “I tried to work up the courage to approach the flight crew or gate security but that kind of violation and fear often leaves victims too stunned and shocked to take immediate action,” she recounted on her blog.


After leaving the airport LaRue spoke with a customer service representative in hopes of filing a complaint and making the airline aware of her alleged attackers actions. She was told by a representative that because she did not report the incident in flight, nothing could be done about the situation. Similar reactions were had from other Spirit representatives who seemed to have no compassion for the situation, even going so far to call the assault an “inconvenience”.

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Fortunately, LaRue found supporters in her blog followers who sympathized with her plight. It was only after posting an open letter to the airline on her own blog that Spirit Airlines issued any type of apology or statement in regards to the events that happened on their aircraft. Regardless, LaRue maintains that Spirit failed to act in a timely, concerned, or compassionate manner. Instead, her claims weren't taken seriously and their failure to act or respond accordingly puts future passengers at risk.


LaRue has since filed a police report against her alleged attacker, as well as a complaint against Spirit Airlines for the way they handled the situation. Sexual assault is a very serious issue that shouldn't be take lightly or looked at as an inconvenience. Let's just hope this is an isolated incident and Spirit will get with the program and implement a better strategy for handling sexual assault cases. 

Sources: Thebrokeassbride.com. Image source: Jezebel.com

Niesha is a writer, diversity editor, and traveler. Her bylines include Glamour, Mic.com, Business Insider, Women's Health, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. She is the digital editor for Bust. Keep up with her at brownandabroad.com 

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