Looking for Some Sexual Harassment? Try Being a Flight Attendant


Air travel has changed so much since the days of Mad Men, boozing businessmen and socially acceptable sexual harassment. So you’d think that, by now, everyone would have gotten the message to leave the flight attendants the hell alone. Not so, apparently!

The Telegraph reports that, in a recent survey, 27 percent of flight attendants reported harassment in the last year. In addition to that, 47 percent said they’d either seen or heard of other attendants being harassed. For instance:

Most of the cases cited concerned physical contact such as “patting, touching, kissing or pinching”, while others included “non-verbal sex cues” such as “staring in a sexual way”.
Further incidents that were reported involved “sexual jokes and requests for sexual favours” and showing “obscene or pornographic materials”.

It was mostly customers to blame (59 percent of incidents), though a still-substantial 41 percent involved fellow crew members.

All that’s according to a recent study by the Hong Kong-based Equal Opportunities Commission, which sent surveys to 9,000 members of the Hong Kong Flight Attendants Alliance (who work on airlines including United, British Airways and Cathay Pacific). But the numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, as only 392 surveys were actually returned, 86 percent from women. A spokesperson for the EOC pointed out that attendants are scattered all over the world, making it harder to respond.

Wonder how many of those flight attendants have been tempted to dump hot coffee in their harassers’ laps?

Photo via AP Images

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