Man Accused of Groping Flight Attendant Claims Reverse Discrimination: 'What About Us Guys?'
A male passenger who was accused of touching a female flight attendant’s buttocks was escorted off the flight and consequently banned from flying Alaska Airlines.
But he is claiming the incident is evidence of “reverse discrimination against men.”
After the incident on Dec. 26, San Diego resident Mike Timon said: “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... It’s unnecessary. It’s discrimination toward me.”
According to a male flight attendant, Timon had been cut off from being served alcohol on the flight. Timon, however, claims he was “100 percent sober.”
As for the female flight attendant he allegedly groped, Timon claims he only “politely patted her on the back” in order to order a drink. Apparently, he was not served.
According to the Union-Tribune, no charges have been filed against Timon. In the meantime, Alaska Airlines said it will be updating its policies on training personnel on handling incidents of sexual harassment and assault on flights.
“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,” Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Ann Johnson told the Union-Tribune.
Sexual harassment against flight attendants is rampant in the airline industry, according to Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, who called the situation an “epidemic.”
Currently, many airlines lack clear-cut policies and training to prevent and handle situations of harassment and assault on flights, especially for flight attendants who don’t want to put their jobs in jeopardy. According to one flight attendant who spoke to HuffPost, “They’re not going to stop the plane. And then everyone’s going to be mad at you; you’re not a team player, you’re difficult.”
At the moment, Timon is contemplating filing a lawsuit against the airline. “What about us guys? I can’t tap a flight attendant on her back to politely ask for something, yet I get accused of something? It’s out of control and I am pissed,” he said.