A woman has spoken out after she was bombarded by a series of inappropriate messages during a flight.
Jessica Van Meir, from Atlanta in the US, shared photos of the messages she received via Virgin Atlantic’s in-flight messaging system on Sunday, with one passenger called “Big D*** Swinger” sending her two winking emojis, another calling her a “tidy babe” and a third passenger called “Dirty Mike” saying, “Welcome to hell”.
Ms Van Meir shared the messages on Twitter.
She added the airline’s staff were helpful and dealt with the “sexually harassing messages” swiftly.
“After the flight attendants spoke with the guys, I walked through the aisle and took a picture of them,” she tweeted.
“Afterwards, a young guy came up to me and said he heard about the chat between me and the guys, and wanted to apologise on their behalf.”
Yesterday I was on a @VirginAtlantic flight, and I unexpectedly received these sexually harassing messages on my screen (I was in 55C).— Jessica Van Meir (@jessicavanmeir) October 6, 2019
The flight attendants were helpful & dealt with it swiftly.
Have any other women had this happen to them?#metoo #cyberharassment @SCFGallagher pic.twitter.com/7tbVkRhpQp
The woman was told the group were on a rugby trip and the man apologising to her was “one of the leaders”.
“He said the guys had been drinking and he’d talk to them, was sorry and hoped we could leave it at that,” Ms Van Meir tweeted.
“What matters to me is not going after these guys, but making sure they understand why it was harmful.”
People called the messages “gross”.
“Sorry you experienced that,” one woman tweeted.
One man added he was glad she “spoke out” about sexual harassment because “many have not”.
Another man shared the images, tweeting men who sexually harass women need to “cut the crap”.
“Fellas, do better. Stop arguing with women when they say ‘men are trash’ when this is what we put them through daily,” he said.
Ms Van Meir has since followed up on her original tweet, thanking “everyone who has expressed sympathy and concern” on Twitter.
She also shared an email from Virgin Atlantic, revealing that she hopes the airline will “take measures to prevent other forms of sexual harassment from happening to others.”
Thanks to everyone who has expressed sympathy & concern.— Jessica Van Meir (@jessicavanmeir) October 7, 2019
After the flight attendants spoke with the guys, I walked through the aisle and took a picture of them. Afterwards, a young guy came up to me and said he heard about the chat between me & the guys and wanted to apologize..
...on their behalf, they were on a rugby trip & he was 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.— Jessica Van Meir (@jessicavanmeir) October 7, 2019
What matters to me is not going after these guys, but making sure they understand why it was harmful.
I received this email today from @VirginAtlantic. I appreciate their following up on it & hope they’ll take measures to prevent this & other forms of sexual harassment from happening to others.— Jessica Van Meir (@jessicavanmeir) October 7, 2019
A seat chat is a fun function & I’m not against it, but it can easily be abused. pic.twitter.com/s5kD8Qe0UY
Virgin Atlantic apologised for Ms Van Meir’s experience deeming the behaviour “unacceptable”.
“We were extremely concerned to hear of the incident reported on board one of our flights and are investigating as a matter of urgency,” the airline tweeted.
“We want all of our customers to have the best possible experience when they fly with us and have zero tolerance for any disruptive or inappropriate behaviour.”
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