Aviation

Passenger sexually harassed via Virgin Atlantic inflight messages

A woman on a Virgin Atlantic flight was disgusted to discover passengers sending her lewd messages via the plane’s inflight entertainment system.

Jessica Van Meir was onboard an eight-hour flight from London to Washington DC when she returned from the bathroom to find a series of inappropriate messages popping up on her screen.

Like many other airlines, Virgin Atlantic’s in-flight entertainment system allows passengers to send messages to people in other seats, which, the passengers behind Van Meir used to harass her.

“55c you tidy babe”, one passenger with the screen name ‘smacks baccy tin’ said, which was followed by another passenger whose screen name was ‘big d**k swinger’ sending two winking emojis and “welcome to hell” from a passenger calling themself ‘dirty mike’.

But what the three harassers didn’t take into account was that Van Meir is a legal analyst who works on cases of sexual assault, harassment and discrimination.

“I work for a law firm that specialises in online sexual harassment. Enjoy being reported to Virgin,” Van Meir said in response.

Van Meir told CNN she reported the incident to flight attendants who addressed the issue immediately, asking her permission to speak with the men. She said the harassment stopped after that but she was left thinking about it for the duration of the flight.

“It’s on a regular basis that women are catcalled,” Van Meir told CNN.

“It’s exhausting and it makes you feel unsafe.

“I was also appalled and disappointed that someone would be so disrespectful and entitled as to send me messages on a flight when I’m travelling on my own just trying to enjoy my flight peacefully and not be harassed by anyone.”

Van Meir said on Twitter she was approached by a “young guy” who said the men behind her were on a rugby trip and identified himself as “one of the leaders”.

“He said the guys had been drinking & he’d talk to them, was sorry and hoped we could leave it at that. What matters to me is not going after these guys, but making sure they understand why it was harmful,” she said.

She also posted an email from a Virgin Atlantic employee apologising for her experience and assuring her they would be “investigating this as a matter of urgency”.

“We have zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour and while I am glad to hear the crew were helpful and dealt with this swiftly, I sincerely apologise for any upset caused,” the email read.

“I would like to reassure you we are reviewing our systems to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Travel Weekly has approached Virgin Atlantic for comment.


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

Tasmania reveals reopening date to Australia’s mainland

The Apple Isle is getting ready to throw open its borders, which is sure to have mainlanders throwing their hands up in the air and yelling ‘yahoo!’

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

International carriers set Aussie return dates, as Qantas brings forward overseas restart for Melbourne

The increased clarity around border openings as Australia’s vaccinated population grows has given overseas airlines the opportunity to set return dates, with a spate promising to return earlier than expected.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WATCH: Destination NSW launches spectacular ‘Feel New’ campaign

Featuring some very flash TV spots, the campaign highlights the state’s natural and cultural offerings, and it’s pretty bloody captivating.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Intrepid to open “hybrid hotels” across Australia and NZ through new joint venture

Intrepid has taken its first step into the hospitality market with the promise of some pretty snazzy hybrid hotels. Wondering what the heck a hybrid hotel is? Find out here.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Austria: Where culture meets scenery

Whether your clients are eager to get their culture fix, strap on their hiking boots or race down the slopes, in Austria, they can get it all.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld’s revenue and TTV soar during September quarter

For full transparency, some of these financial figures are unaudited, but let’s not let that take away from Helloworld’s strong recovery.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

ScoMo says Australia-Singapore travel bubble to form “within the next week or so”

Our editor is loving this bubble talk so much that he’s decided to celebrate by having a bubble bath while enjoying a bubble tea.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas to launch Sydney-Dehli route, moves start date forward for select overseas flights

The national carrier also said it plans to bring back around 11,000 stood-down workers a whopping six months earlier than expected.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Golden Horizon, the world’s biggest sailing ship, cancels its Aussie debut

Tradewind Voyages is the latest cruise line to axe its Aussie sailings after growing tired of waiting for the federal government to get its sh*t together.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Flight Centre-owned DMC Discova recruits new global marketing manager

The destination management company has Discova-d its new global marketing manager. Get it? (Sorry, that was a pretty cringeworthy effort).

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Four must-dos in Flanders

With charming cities, a rich history and artistic masterpieces (not to mention an unparalleled beer culture), there’s a lot to love about the northern Belgium region.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WA lets slip plan to mandate COVID-19 jabs for all interstate travellers

Mark McGowan has been forced to do a bit of explaining after WA’s health department appeared to accidentally release details of its mandatory vaccine plan for all interstate visitors.

Share

CommentComments