United Sued for Failing to Protect Teen Who Was Assaulted Mid-Flight
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.
Vijaykumar Krishnappa pled guilty to the charge in 2018, and was sentenced to 90 days in federal prison. However, the airline is now being held responsible as well for its lukewarm response.
The unnamed teenager was flying solo from Seattle to Newark on July 23, 2017, when Krishnappa began molesting her. According to the victim, the unwanted touching continued until she managed to flag down a flight attendant for help. The flight attendant allegedly said, “Not cool, dude” and directed the victim to a seat several rows forward. The lawsuit also alleges that United Airlines allowed Krishnappa to leave the plane without further consequences; he was only taken into custody after the victim’s mother called local law enforcement.
Cases of mid-air sexual assault are increasing at “an alarming rate,” according to the FBI in June 2018, spiking 66% from 2014 to 2017. In 2017, the bureau opened 63 in-flight sexual assault cases, compared to just 38 in 2014. Because the assaults take place in flight, cases are considered federal crimes and can carry felony penalties of 10 years to life in prison, if aggravated.
In many cases, assault is most likely to occur on long-haul or red-eye flights, when the cabin lights are dimmed for a portion of the time. Furthermore, victimized travelers are at the mercy of the flight crew’s intuition for managing the situation, as airlines and law enforcement do not currently have a set of guidelines for managing and reporting sexual assault.
United released 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 attendant was made aware of the issue. We fully cooperated with law enforcement’s investigation and the perpetrator has been permanently banned from flying United.”
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter here: https://thepointsguy.com/mailing-list//
Featured photo by Shutterstock.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
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.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- 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.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- 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