I experienced a traumatic incident on my flight with Jet2 yesterday, whilst travelling alone.. I was aggressively harassed by a man and when I begged attendants for help I was smirked at and offered no help or support.
The man I was sitting next to was much larger and older than me and had been aggressive and kept telling me what to do throughout the flight. When I didn't turn my phone off immediately (e.g. within 10 seconds) after the announcement he got aggressive, threatened to take my phone. I told him off and he lunged for me, tried to grab the phone and also grabbed at my body, clothes and hair. I called for the attendant using the button.
When she came over the man shouted "she still has her phone on" and I shouted loudly "this man just attacked me". She ignored what I had said and said "yes, I told you to turn it off", gives me a dirty look and quickly turns around and goes back to the front of the plane for landing before I could say anything else. She pointed to other seats as she was walking away saying "you can move if you want" and rolled her eyes. As a member of staff she is in a position of power in this situation, and her response influenced those around me. People followed her reaction and looked at me and rolled their eyes. She didn't offer support, so why would anyone else. I felt completely humiliated. I know I was shaking and panicky as my words came out very broken. The flight attendant should have spotted that I was in a vulnerable position, a young female on my own, obviously in a state of distress following the incident. She didn't even acknowledge what I had said, instead the man was thanked for 'reporting me', rather than being pulled up on attacking another passenger.
I was offered no solution or support which would have been very basic e.g. showing she understood and had taken it seriously that I had been attacked, made the effort to move me away with care, checked I was ok etc, instead I was shouted at by her again and she made me feel like it was my fault that I got attacked. Once I had gathered my thoughts I moved a few rows behind to sit next to another lady who was on her own.
Even if I had my tray-table down, blind up, seat reclined, no seat belt on, breaking all the regulations, there is NEVER a situation whereby it's ok for a passenger to attack another passenger. So far, I am lead to believe based on my experience that Jet2 crew take the view that this IS ok. That if someone doesn't turn off their moment as soon as they are told, that it is ok for another passenger to attack them until them they do. In my experience, this is ok at Jet2, it is even encouraged.
Despite being extremely upset, shaking with shock and anger, upon leaving the plane I wanted to confront the flight attendant to try and make her aware of the implications of her actions. I told her that I was disappointed with her response and repeated to her that I was physically harassed. Her only response to that was that "I told you phones needed to be turned off", perpetuating the idea that it was my fault. I then burst into tears in front of her, and told her she should have stuck up for me as a woman. One other member of the crew and a pilot were standing at the front of the plane no more than 1m away from us at this point too. Not a single person from Jet2 offered support or help, or even looked me in the eye. Instead, she smirked, rolled her eyes, said 'ok' and I walked off the plane feeling extremely embarrassed and let down. Her lack of apology or even showing the slightest amount of empathy left me feeling very helpless and small.
I hope anyone with empathy can understand why this series of events is so damaging. With all of the rhetoric currently discussed in today's society, it's so important that women do not feel gaslighted or victim blamed. The flight attendant, a representative of Jet2 who had received their training was guilty of this and allowed the attacker to walk away as if he did them a favour, whilst I was made to feel stupid and to blame.
For a company that relies upon positive customer experience with large amounts of customer-facing staff, this is not acceptable. Jet2 in my experience is not a company that protects or supports women and I no longer feel safe travelling with them.
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