Friday, August 26, 2011

Spirit Airlines, You're So Cool That Assault Doesn't Phase You

Flying was never something I did. In fact, my first flight was the Spring Break of my freshman year of college. This lack of "experience" had aways left me feeling uneasy while flying Since then, I have flown less than a dozen times, but I gradually became comfortable with the whole ordeal. Although, I have mostly flown with travel buddies, there have been instances where I have had to take long flights alone. Once I get comfortable with air travel I felt that I would be safe sleeping on the flight knowing there were several attendants constantly walking up and down the aisles. My faith in the safety of solo air travel has been blown to pieces. One of my favorite bloggers, The Broke Ass Bride Dana LaRue recently took to social media and shared her story of sexual assault on trip from LA to Chicago via Spirit Airlines.

After having her belongings covered in another passenger's vomit and being offered no help, LaRue woke up mid-flight to find the man in the next seat repeatedly touching her inner thighs and breasts. Knowing the attendants were little help, and being stunned in shock over the events that just happened, she waited to report the assault once she had arrived in Chicago. Her complaints were met with foot dragging and insensitivity resulting in 6 hours of transferred calls and nonchalance. LaRue took to the social media with an open letter to the company. Again she was met with blame in the form a bullshit form letter.

What stands out most to me is that the airline will in no way accept any responsibility in the way Dana was treated by continuing to blame her for not speaking up. On all fronts, LaRue has owned her inability to speak up in the moment, but unless you have been in an assault/abuse/rape situation, you have no idea how you would react while in such shock and disbelief. Could you imagine having to say to the flight attendant (who previously would not move her after being puked on) that the man sitting next to you just assaulted you, while still less than a foot from your attacker? Talk about even more pressure. But Dana did not stay quiet! She spoke up upon arriving in Chicago to prevent this man from hurting another individual in the same manner.

Personally, I am appalled at the way Dana was treated. When did customer service, and protection of individuals' rights go out the door? In a society that is so concerned with putting everyone on an equal standing, this company should be jumping to help any person that was assaulted and help in the preventing any other person from being put through the same trauma. Spirit Airlines has another notch in their already deplorable reputation supported by several raunchy advertisements and oversexed parodies of important current events like the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill.

Dana, while others may not understand why you "didn't" report it sooner, I understand why you could not report it at the same moment it happened and applaud you for standing up and working hard to get the situation resolved. I am inspired by your strength and courage to take on nationwide company in the name of what is right! No matter when abuse, assault and/or rape was reported, I believe the report should be taken seriously and acted upon promptly and in a tactful manner, something Spirit Airlines is clearly lacking. For all my readers out there, I hope you too support Dana LaRue and the rights of all victims by boycotting this airline company and spreading the word!

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