Thank you for subscribing!
Got it! Thank you!

Are Conditions on Flights Leaving Passengers Vulnerable to Sexual Assault?

The accusations from 11 women who say that Donald Trump kissed or touched them sexually without their consent have brought renewed national attention to the issue of sexual assault. And that includes incidents on airplanes; one of the accusers, Jessica Leeds, alleges that Trump groped her during a flight in 1979 (for the record, he says she's lying). 

In an article in the New York Times, several air-travel experts argue that in the intervening decades, it's gotten only easier for offenders to attack victims on planes.

As a matter of fact, the FBI reports that investigations into in-flight sexual assaults have increased 45% this year so far (from 40 for all of 2015 to 58 in 2016, with more than two months still to go). And that number doesn't include incidents reported to local and airport police, or the estimated 75% of all sexual assaults that go unreported. 


As contributing factors, observers cite cramped cabins with seats as narrow as 16.5 inches in some cases; passengers who have been served an excess of alcohol, either at airport bars or on board; and fewer flight attendants walking up and down the aisles, particularly on night flights when lights are dimmed.