PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More than two-thirds of flight attendants are sexually harassed by passengers, according to a survey by the Association of Flight Attendants.
Also, almost one-in-five have experienced physical sexual harassment from passengers in the past year, the survey says.
Flight attendants describe the verbal sexual harassment as comments that are “nasty, unwanted, lewd, crude, inappropriate, uncomfortable, sexual, suggestive, and dirty.” They also report being subjected to passengers’ explicit sexual fantasies, propositions, request for sexual “favors” and pornographic videos and pictures.
In addition, 68 percent of flight attendants say their airlines showed no actions when it came to addressing workplace sexual harassment in the last year, according to AFA.
“While much of the coverage of the #MeToo movement has focused on high-profile cases in the entertainment industry and politics, this survey underscores why AFA has long been pushing to eradicate sexism and harassment within our own industry,” said Sara Nelson, AFA President. “The time when flight attendants were objectified in airline marketing and people joked about ‘coffee, tea, or me’ needs to be permanently grounded. #TimesUp for the industry to put an end to its sexist past.”
Only seven percent of attendants who experienced abuse reported sexual harassment to their employer, according to the survey.
Flight attendants said the physical sexual harassment included having their breasts, buttocks and crotch area “touched, felt, pulled, grabbed, groped, slapped, rubbed, and fondled” both on top of and under their uniforms. Other abuse included passengers cornering or lunging at them followed by unwanted hugs, kisses and humping.
The survey consisted of more than 3,500 flight attendants from 29 U.S. airlines, with 80 percent women and 20 percent men.