United Offers Passenger $75 After Airline Fails to Report Seatmate Masturbator to Police
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Sexual assaults on planes are happening more and more often — or at least, are being reported more often to authorities — and airlines just can’t seem to figure out the right way of handling these situations. The latest incident occurred when 21-year-old Mikaela Dixon found herself seated next to a man who allegedly masturbated “for hours” during a United Airlines flight on August 11 from Orange County (SNA) to Chicago (ORD).
“I had no idea what to do,” Dixon said in a post on Twitter (you can read the entire thread here). According to SFGate, Dixon said “she couldn’t get up from her seat because she ‘didn’t want to go anywhere near him’ and feared calling an attendant because he would have ‘heard me reporting him.'”
As the plane landed and the man got up from his aisle seat to use the restroom, Dixon was finally able to tell flight attendants about what the passenger had done — which the crew promised to report to police. Upon arrival at the gate, the man “bolted” off the plane, at which time a fellow passenger blocked him until United employees could detain him.
Dixon told Buzzfeed News that a United flight attendant informed her the authorities had been alerted and would “meet the man upon exiting the aircraft.” As it turns out, the police did indeed receive a phone about the incident — but from another passenger, not a United employee. Buzzfeed reports that the flight crew and gate agent “had decided not to do so.”
“Chicago police confirmed to Buzzfeed that they had received a 911 call from a citizen, but not United. When officers arrived at the scene, the man had already left,” reports SFGate.
Instead, the victim reports that United’s security team interviewed the man and then “sent him on his way.”
The woman was later offered a $75 voucher from United, which she said in a tweet she considers “hush money.” United issued a statement saying, “The safety and well-being of our customers is our top priority. Our customer was immediately moved to a different seat when the flight attendants were made aware of the issue. We are reviewing the matter to learn more about what happened.”
Dixon reached out to the Chicago Police Department and later the FBI to file a report. “If United isn’t gonna cooperate [with] police and take action, I will,” she said.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees