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Woman On Virgin Atlantic Flight Receives Onslaught Of Sexually Inappropriate In-Flight Messages From Male Passengers

Women are being catcalled and harassed on the street and across social media. Now they have to worry about airplanes, too? 

It’s been reported that Jessica Van Meir, a woman flying alone back to Atlanta, Georgia, was inundated with inappropriate messages from male passengers who were using the plane’s in-flight messaging system. 

Van Meir took pictures of the various messages and shared them on Twitter. The in-flight messaging system also included seat numbers, so she visited the men’s seats who’d harassed her and took pictures of them.

You can see her tweets here:

 

Van Meir also mentioned that the flight attendants were very helpful and thoughtful, and quickly took care of the situation. 

After a flight attendant approached the men, and Van Meir took pictures of them, Van Meir was also approached by another man, who apologized for the chat messages. 

The man who approached her was the captain of a rugby team. All the men who messaged her were members of that same team.

The team captain tried to excuse their behavior by saying they had been drinking and he would talk to them later about their actions.

Van Meir’s photos on Twitter quickly caught the attention of the Twitterverse.

Many have jumped in to support her, and to point out how perfect of an example this is of women being harassed wherever they go. 

Others also commented on the airline’s involvement, namely their use of a chat system. 

Van Meir soon followed up her original tweet with her thanks for the overwhelming support. She also noted that she hoped the airline would continue to work on new solutions that would keep situations like this from happening.

Virgin Atlantic sent Jessica Van Meir an apology via tweet and personal letter.

The airline tweeted: 

“We were extremely concerned to hear of the incident reported on board one of our flights and are investigating as a matter of urgency. We want all of our customers to have the best possible experience when they fly with us and have zero tolerance for any disruptive or inappropriate behavior.” 

Van Meir clarified in one of her follow-up tweets that she was not aiming to have the men punished or to make their names go public. Rather, she wanted the men to understand how their behavior was harmful and hoped that sharing this situation would improve on future social and airline interactions.

Though this situation didn’t escalate further, it’s a good example of how widespread sexual harassment remains even after #MeToo.

There is no question there’s still work to do.

Send the message that consent is key with this shirt available here.

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Have you listened to the first season of George Takei’s podcast, ‘Oh Myyy Pod!‘?

In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.

We’re hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss it when it goes live.

Here’s one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.