By a Biometrica staffer
Two female passengers alleged in a federal lawsuit that they were sexually assaulted on Frontier Airlines flights in separate incidents in 2018, and that the airline personnel failed to report the incidents and help them gather evidence.
Both incidents of sexual assault, apparently unrelated, occurred on board Frontier Airlines flights originating in Denver, according to the suit CNN said in a report. The suit was filed in Colorado. Both women said they were assaulted by a male passenger, one in October and the other in November. The accused assailants are not named in the suit.
Each woman reported the incident to a flight attendant, according to the suit, but the attendants – who are also not named – did not report it to anyone else, did not request law enforcement be contacted to meet the plane upon landing, and did not cooperate or assist the complainants with getting evidence or the identities of the assailants or possible witnesses.
The lawsuit asks for class action status and accuses Frontier of failing to prevent, report and respond to sexual assault of its passengers on its flights.
Frontier Airlines corporate communications director Jennifer de la Cruz said they cannot comment on the specific claims in the suit. “However, I can tell you that the safety of our passengers and crew members is our number one priority at Frontier Airlines and we have strict policies in place to proactively and appropriately respond to reports of misconduct and alleged crimes,” Cruz said.
The suit comes two weeks after a group of female pilots and flight attendants sued Frontier, alleging the airline forced them onto unpaid leave while pregnant and refused to accommodate their breastfeeding needs.
Sexual assault aboard flights is a growing concern. In 2018, the number of sexual assaults reported during commercial airline flights was increasing “at an alarming rate,” the FBI said. FBI investigations into mid-air sexual assaults increased by 66% from fiscal year 2014 to 2017. The bureau said it had opened 63 investigations into sexual assaults on aircrafts in 2017, compared with 57 in 2016, 40 in 2015 and 38 in 2014.