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Woman Says Flight Crew Made 'Jokes' After a Man Masturbated Next to Her

She even caught the guy on video.

by Drew Schwartz
Jul 20 2018, 3:37pm

Screengrab via Pascolla's Instagram; photo by Flickr user Alan Wilson

Partway through Genevieve Pascolla's flight from London to Chicago earlier this month, she woke up from a nap to a mortifying sight. With his body covered by a blanket, the man sitting next to her appeared to be masturbating—and somehow, even after she jumped out of her seat and got away from him, things only got worse from there.

According to BuzzFeed News, Pascolla woke up the woman next to her and told an attendant on the United Airlines flight what was going on. She wrote on Instagram that the flight attendants "confirmed that he was masturbating in public" and gave her and the woman next to her new seats. Then, she claims, the flight attendants started cracking jokes about what the man had done—an experience Pascolla described as "being assaulted."

"They then started making jokes about the situation asking 'what perfume are you wearing' and excusing him saying 'he’s had a bit of wine,'" Pascolla wrote. "No one stopped him. He was allowed to finish, with a child sitting closely by."

At a time when we're having a global dialogue about sexual harassment and assault, you'd think United would make a point of stopping the man, ensuring Pascolla was OK, and following up with her—especially considering its reputation isn't exactly sterling right now. But according to Pascolla, that didn't happen.

She said that a "security guard" met her when she got off the plane and asked if she wanted an apology from the guy, which she turned down. She filed a complaint with the airline, she said, but it took them a month and a half to get back to her—only to apologize for what it called an "uncomfortable situation," and refuse to give her a full refund.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, United spokeswoman Maddie King called what allegedly happened onboard "inappropriate and offensive," saying customer safety was United's "top priority."

"That’s why, in this case, our customers were promptly moved to different seats in a different section of the plane and law enforcement officials were summoned in advance to meet the perpetrator when the plane pulled into the gate," King said. It's unclear if the man was ever arrested.

King said the airline also called Pascolla on the day of the flight for a "wellness check," and offered her "compensation as a goodwill gesture." Pascolla told BuzzFeed News that only came after she tweeted about what happened, and United gave her a voucher for half the cost of her ticket.

As if exploding engines, cracked windows, vaping pilots, belligerent stewardesses, and flaming carry-ons aren't enough to worry about when you fly, it's apparently time to add public masturbators to the list. It's hard to believe somebody actually managed to outdo that guy who peed all over the back of an airplane seat.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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