The day after Christmas a man boarded an Alaska Airlines flight in Portland, Oregon, and from his first-class seat, asked the flight attendant for another drink. When the plane touched down in San Diego, police boarded the plane and escorted him off.
Mike Timon, 53, said he never tried to touch the woman’s buttocks, as he is being accused of doing, but only “politely” touched her on the back to get her attention so he could ask her for another drink. He said he was acting cordially.
“For me to be accused of this, and for me to be escorted off the plane by police? This is it. I’m blowing up,” he told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s unnecessary. It’s discrimination toward me.”
Timon said he had had only one drink. He claimed to be “100 percent sober” at the time of the alleged misconduct, according to Fox News.
Though Alaska Airlines declined to comment on the incident from December 26 due to an open investigation, it issued a statement in response: The airline will no longer allow Timon to board an Alaskan Airlines flight, permanently.
“Alaska Airlines will not tolerate any type of sexual misconduct that creates an unsafe environment for our guests and crew members and we are fully committed to do our part to address this serious issue,” said spokeswoman Ann Johnson for the airline.
Johnson also said that the airline is working to update policies and training to “ensure that crew members have the tools they need to prevent, identify and address sexual harassment on board, and will have more to say about what that looks like later this winter.”
This incident comes in a season of national reckoning over sexual misconduct allegations that have brought down powerful men in politics, entertainment and media. It has also sparked the #MeToo movement, which gives a platform for women to discuss their own sexual misconduct experiences.
Sara Nelsen, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents 42,000 flight attendants from 19 airlines, described in a Washington Post article the sexual harassment flight attendants endure.
“Even today, we are called pet names, patted on the rear when a passenger wants our attention, cornered in the back galley and asked about our ‘hottest’ layover, and subjected to incidents not fit for print,” she wrote.
What do you think? In recent news, a famous actress was forced to settle a lawsuit after a young man drowned in her pool.