8/26

Dear Spirit Airlines,

I got your response to my letter today concerning my sexual assault on your plane and your lack of responsible reaction. I am reposting your response in entirety, as follows:

“Ms. LaRue,

We apologize if our initial response seemed insensitive and delayed.

If concerns are brought to our attention by customers while onboard, we do take them very seriously and take the appropriate steps to mitigate any potential harm or threats.  Our in-flight crew and airport staff are trained to deal with a variety of in-flight incidents and the safety and security of all of our customers is a top priority.

Please be assured that we will do whatever is necessary to cooperate with authorities in connection with the report that you have filed.

Regards,
Heather
(redacted)
Sr. Manager, Customer Relations & Luggage Resolution, Spirit Airlines “

Seriously? IF?!?!? SEEMED?!?!? Talk about passive aggressive, non-accountability. It is NOT simply my perception that your response was insensitive and delayed, as much as you try to make it sound. Re-read your responses to me and think about it hard. What if it were you, or someone you love? Consider the SIX HOURS it took for you to amend your response. Consider your cowardly deletion of the initial response to me on twitter. 

It is a matter of FACT that you failed to act in a timely, concerned and compassionate manner, and failed to protect future passengers on your flights with this man. Read the comments on the previous post if you disagree. And whether or not your in-flight staff is trained to handle these types of situations, your phone agents and social media reps completely failed me in every sense. That is your responsibility as well.

And… once again…. you’ve shoved the blame back onto me, the victim, for not reacting fast enough. Like it should have been so easy to free myself from the paralysis of fear and shock to speak up while a strange man groped my body, uninvited. Have you ever been sexually assaulted? I pray not.

Are you aware that the majority of victims cannot speak up… EVER, due to embarrassment or fear? AS IF I’m not plagued with enough regret and shame and guilt for not saying something in the moment. As a woman who normally prides herself on her strength and gumption and self-preservation, I’ve let myself down nearly as much as you’ve let me down. But my inability to act at the time does not negate your responsibility to protect your passengers.

AS IF a woman like me, who strives to be resolute and resilient in every case, wouldn’t have spent the past 48 hours berating herself with shame and horror and pain and anger for being so crippled under pressure that I could not protect even myelf As if you’re not putting future passengers in danger by not taking my report seriously and urgently. But yet, when I endured 3 hours of calls in an attempt to protect other passengers, I received no sensitivity from your company, I was continually blamed and shirked and insulted for being a paralyzed victim of sex abuse.

Your wording suggests that there’s some unwritten statute of limitations on your ability to react or protect your passengers.  Like we exist in a vacuum in which you can only help people “in the moment” but not a second later? I called to file a complaint within 20 minutes of my exit of the craft. Forgive my bluntness, but your accusation that I somehow failed, is straight-up bullshit, as well as being insulting and callous. Your reaction reeks of displacement of blame, insensitivity and cowardice. I didn’t think it was possible, but I’ve lost even more respect from you in light of this lack of responsibility.

I will be forwarding my initial email and your subsequent response to everyone in power at Spirit, including the CEO and anyone else who will listen; as well as to everyone in the media that I can reach. Because your “response” only perpetuates the issues and concerns that I initially voiced. You blame the victim. You shirk the responsibility. You assume no accountability or concern for your passengers safety – regardless of when it is reported. And that is the heart of the matter here. Again and again, you refuse to step up. It’s absolutely pathetic, cowardly, irresponsible and deplorable in ways that are beyond comprehension.

If you’ve been following twitter or facebook at all, you know this fight will relentlessly persist until some ACTUAL, culpable response is given. Because, unbelievably, this response is almost worse than your initial one.

PS: the media is all over this story like white on rice. Last chance to step up, take ownership and make it right. Sexual abuse is not an inconvenience, and not a joke… and there is no statute of limitations on your passengers’ safety. THAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, PERIOD. OWN the Eff UP!

Sincerely,

Dana

The Broke-Ass Bride
Dana is the head woman in charge here, the original Broke-Ass Bride. Learn more about her here. And, follow her on Twitter (@brokeassbride), Pinterest (@brokeassbride), Facebook (/thebrokeassbride) and Instagram (@brokeassbride). Affiliate links, which might be included in the post above, help make her a few dollars here and there to keep her off the streets and in the business of blogging for your ass. So thanks for coming! :)
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63 Responses to “Spirit Airline’s Bullsh*t Response: (& mine as well)”


  1. Fiona

    As a follower of your blog prior to this, can I first share my genuine sympathy (and anger) for the assault that you were victim to. As angry as I am at Spirit Airlines (more on that to follow…), I am first and foremost angry at Jim for his assault on you, and feeling sorry for (sorry, there seem to be no better words to describe it…I know it sounds patronising!) you for having been subject to his actions.

    However, now considering the Spirit response, I genuinely feel that you should go to the press. Perhaps not immediately, so as to not be tarred as angry or seeking revenge, but for the same reason that you initially rang their helpdesk ~ because speaking up is the right thing to do. For yourself, and for others. I would be totally surprised if Spirit are the only airline whose 'concern' is limited to passengers only while onboard a craft, and a humilitation of one airline might encourage others to review their policies in this area.

    I am shocked and angry for you. But also more shocked and angry at how easily this would have been swept under the carpet if you were less aware of your rights, if you had less twitter & blog followers, if you had less balls… not everyone is able to create the response you have done (as you've mentioned before), but everyone has the right to sit on a plane journey without being unwillingly molested.

  2. Constance

    ASTOUNDING!! Sad, accurate reflection of this responsibility-shirking era. Keep up the fight, Dana! I, at least, am very sad and troubled that this happened to you. I hope someone at Spirit "gets it' and comes forth with a valid apology, and a more valiant effort at rectifying your traumatic experience (referring, unfortunately, more to the emotional assault you received at the….er….headphones and keyboard of the Spirit employees). Keep us posted!

  3. @NHWedPlanner

    Dana, take it to the media. The public needs to be warned. There is nothing that Spirit can do now to make it right short of going to the media themselves to warn the public that things like this happen and what to do in the event it does. __Good Luck and I am behind you!!!__p.s. I am forwardeding these post'st to all the media outlets I know!

  4. sparrowgrey

    It seems they continue to dig themselves a bigger and bigger whole to lay in. "If concerns are brought to our attention by customers while onboard" … as soon as I read that, my blood started to boil. Once again, they're blaming you for your lack of response and that, above all, is sickening and wrong.

  5. Laura

    Dana this never should have happened. But once it did, Spirit had an obligation to protect you!
    Given the way that your issue was handled, our agency will not put another passenger on Spirit. I have no doubt that many of my fellow agents will support this action as well.

  6. Laura

    Dana this never should have happened. But once it did, Spirit had an obligation to protect you!
    Given the way that your issue was handled, our agency will not put another passenger on Spirit. I have no doubt that many of my fellow agents will support this action as well.

  7. Ashley/Pseudonym

    I had never read your blog before today, but a link on facebook caught my eye. Please stay strong and continue your fight. I am in the middle of a much different though incredibly similar situation, I was assaulted almost 10 YEARS ago and am now trying to make it right and see justice, since my original reporting was met with a similar lack of interest from law enforcement. Happily (happily? really?) the crime was so severe that it carries no statute of limitations. It is a secondary wounding when the people in positions of power, the people in short who are supposed to protect us, turn a blind eye on us. Kepp up the fight. For all of us. Thank you.

  8. Jamie

    As someone who regularly flies by herself this is absolutely terrifying. I agree with the other posters, you – all of us – need to get the attention of National Media. They have covered less important occurrences on flights before, like the girl who was asked to leave because her skirt was too short in which airline officials eventually apologized . This is a far more serious matter and one that I'm sure has not been the first to be swept under the rug.
    I'm so sorry for your ordeal.

  9. @TechSavvyWife

    I am so shocked by Spirit's lack of compassion! Please, please, please keep pursing this and sharing with media outlets. I am going to continue to share with the hundreds of people on my social networking sites. We love you Dana.

  10. @TechSavvyWife

    I am so shocked by Spirit's lack of compassion! Please, please, please keep pursing this and sharing with media outlets. I am going to continue to share with the hundreds of people on my social networking sites. We love you Dana.

  11. Bubbles

    Dana, I am SO PROUD of you for being brave and standing up for what's right in the face of adversity. Please, if there's anything your readers can do for you, do let us know.

  12. Bubbles

    Dana, I am SO PROUD of you for being brave and standing up for what's right in the face of adversity. Please, if there's anything your readers can do for you, do let us know.

  13. allofmywords

    Go to the media! Do it! Spirit sucks that they still haven't owned up! They lost a customer and gained an army of angry people!

  14. Casie {@TheNameIsCasie}

    Wow. Just when you think that they cant respond ANY worse?! They freaking do! You didnt wait DAYS OR WEEKS to bring this to light — you waited MINUTES, under an HOUR. Statue of Limitation or not – I highly doubt that there’s some “written rule” that while on board am aircraft you have “under an hour” to notify someone of the situation. And WHO in their RIGHT MIND would even WANT to bring this up IN AN AIRCRAFT – 30,000 feet in the air – WITH the aissailant RIGHT NEXT TO YOU?! As strong a woman as I am, one who was raised by a NY/NJ police officer?! I KNOW I wouldn’t make a peep on that flight – so as not to disturb the other passengers, and most of ALL not piss the guy off! Sorry. I’ll wait till I’m safely on ground, and in the prescence of my family/friends/loved one who can SUPPORT me as I make the claim. Spirit Airlines is a rotten sack of shit for doing this to you Dana — take it to the media!!

  15. Frustrated for you

    Dana – go to the Media. Contact the New York Times. Oh, and I would get a lawyer. Extreme emotional disturbance is not just an 'inconvenience,' it is a cause of action.

  16. Jessa

    Yes!!!!!!!! I’m over here crying and cheering for you all at the same time! This is absolutely disgusting, and you have my full support, along with the support of thousands of your followers! Go get ‘em!!! This is NOT ok, and we will not tolerate it! You are the voice now for so many! Thank you for standing up for those who can’t!!!!!

  17. Kristin- Bien Living

    This is horrible! As someone who was struck with fear & no response when something similar happened on the el, my heart is breaking for you :(

  18. Kristin- Bien Living

    Let me clarify – "no response" by ME (not the CTA), meaning I was too shocked/afraid to speak up and say anything.

  19. Agent99

    Dana, so sorry to hear about the double betrayal; 1st from the offender, and next from a company who should have your safety in mind. Good you for you for speaking up. (to those who keep askingvwhat Spirt should or could have done, you are speaking up VERY clearly! Identify the offender and prevent him from having the opportunity to assault anyone else on their planes! Not legal action, just protection). I wanted to add that your experience clarifies for me why I won’t allow my 11 year old daughter to fly alone; I haven’t been able to pinpoint my reluctance to any specific fears. Now I realize just one of the things I’d vaguely been worried about. So you HAVE protected someone. And, as a women who has experienced a similar situation, your response (of shock & paralysis) is textbook typical. That others should not invade your personal space, much less your body is so basic, that to experience it is very difficult to wrap your mind around. Shame on Spirit Airlines.

  20. Liz

    a) It’s sad and scary how many women I know who’ve had something similar happen to them on public or semi-public transportation (myself included). I’m SO sorry you had to go through this. I remember how scared I was at the time, and I, too, did nothing out of pure shock. It’s a horrible feeling.

    b) Being responsible for a company’s social media presence, the LEAST Spirit could have done was say, in a timely manner, “We’re so sorry that happened to you, and we apologize for how our staff handled the situation. Please let us know how we can help now.” Frankly, I would have contacted you privately with a request for your phone number so we could talk directly. Some things should not be handled via Twitter or e-mail, for pete’s sake.

    Perhaps they legally can’t give you the name, etc., but they can at least tell you, “Ok, this is what we can (and will) do to help you.”

  21. Paige

    I can't imagine how terrifying that must have been — surrounded, but completely isolated. Stay strong. Fight your battle. We are all here to support you!

  22. Brigitte

    "As a woman who normally prides herself on her strength and gumption and self-preservation, I’ve let myself down nearly as much as you’ve let me down. But my inability to act at the time does not negate your responsibility to protect your passengers."

    This really struck a chord with me. Its so easy to feel guilt/shame because we feel that we didn't react the way we WISH we would have, once we're in a safe position and looking back. That undeserved guilt is bad enough (this was in NO WAY your fault and AWFUL), but the fact that Spirit Airlines keeps casually referring to the fact that you didn't tell them at the right time so this isn't their fault is…. kind of pathetic.

    It seems they just don't have any system set up to deal with any in-flight issues AFTER the flight. I think this incident is probably going to be the beginning of a new way of doing things for them. (It better be!)

    Also, really freaks me out to think about this: if you weren't already an established, well known blogger with a large following on here, twitter, facebook, etc, and didn't have an army of people standing behind you – would they even have responded at all? Makes me shutter to think of what would happen to anyone else.

  23. Brigitte

    "As a woman who normally prides herself on her strength and gumption and self-preservation, I’ve let myself down nearly as much as you’ve let me down. But my inability to act at the time does not negate your responsibility to protect your passengers."

    This really struck a chord with me. Its so easy to feel guilt/shame because we feel that we didn't react the way we WISH we would have, once we're in a safe position and looking back. That undeserved guilt is bad enough (this was in NO WAY your fault and AWFUL), but the fact that Spirit Airlines keeps casually referring to the fact that you didn't tell them at the right time so this isn't their fault is…. kind of pathetic.

    It seems they just don't have any system set up to deal with any in-flight issues AFTER the flight. I think this incident is probably going to be the beginning of a new way of doing things for them. (It better be!)

    Also, really freaks me out to think about this: if you weren't already an established, well known blogger with a large following on here, twitter, facebook, etc, and didn't have an army of people standing behind you – would they even have responded at all? Makes me shutter to think of what would happen to anyone else.

  24. Becky

    Dana, my blood is boiling! Take this to the media for sure! And do it while you're ANGRY – screw waiting for calm and rationality. You have every right to be angry and to act out of that anger.

    Perhaps this is out of line, but this most recent email makes me even more angry because it COMES FROM A WOMAN. Don't get me wrong, men should be as sensitive to this issue, but as a woman, she should be personally invested in helping you seek restitution and justice.

    ONE IN FOUR women are sexually assaulted and I think that statistic is deceptively low. I hope Heather from Spirit Air never faces what you and many other women have faced. But she should have thought twice about her own voice as a woman before signing that insulting letter.

  25. Becky

    Dana, my blood is boiling! Take this to the media for sure! And do it while you're ANGRY – screw waiting for calm and rationality. You have every right to be angry and to act out of that anger.

    Perhaps this is out of line, but this most recent email makes me even more angry because it COMES FROM A WOMAN. Don't get me wrong, men should be as sensitive to this issue, but as a woman, she should be personally invested in helping you seek restitution and justice.

    ONE IN FOUR women are sexually assaulted and I think that statistic is deceptively low. I hope Heather from Spirit Air never faces what you and many other women have faced. But she should have thought twice about her own voice as a woman before signing that insulting letter.

  26. @GoldiluxeEvents

    Words cannot express my outrage at this continued sh*itstormery to which you are being subjected. This. Is. Not. An. Apology. This is a company trying to shift blame away from themselves in order to save their sorry as*es. Too many women, including myself, have experienced the pain and fear of sexual assault. I am so sorry.
    I do hope you take this to the media. I also hope that somewhere, someone who reads this, recognizing their own story in yours breaks their silence. My hope for them is that they receive the love and support they deserve.

  27. partiesbykristen

    Their response is so formal, callous and half assed that they are hoping you will just go away. However, I'm proud that you are taking this on and are staying right where you are: up in their face with it. I have experienced sexual assault and know that feeling after it happens. It's paralyzing and it's difficult to breathe. Customers everywhere need to know not to fly Spirit Airlines as they essentially condone the sexual assault of their passengers be they women, men or children. Would they have responded like that to a child or a parent reporting the sexual assault of a child? Definitely go to the media with this. I have been so angry that this happened to you and have posted your story and tweets just about everywhere I can. Keeping you in my thoughts. – Kristen

  28. Kim

    You tell em! I am super proud of you. Be tough on them and please be gentle with yourself. I am sending you love and light.
    Love, Kim

  29. Kim

    You tell em! I am super proud of you. Be tough on them and please be gentle with yourself. I am sending you love and light.
    Love, Kim

  30. semisocialite

    I continued to be appalled by the lack of action on Spirit's part and am so sorry that you've had to endure not only what happened on the plane, but their lack of compassion and refusal to assist in any way shape or form. When someone is assaulted in a school or workplace and doesn't report it right away, the the workplace/college's is rarely, if ever, "Oh well sorry, you didn't report it right away. We can't do anything." They at least assist in filing a report, helping the victim, taking action against the assailant, etc. The fact that Spirit believes that they are beyond doing this for someone who flew on one of their flights is absolutely infuriating. Take this to the media. They have had long enough to try and rectify the situation. I'm so sorry you've had to go through this and that it is being dragged out due to their failure to act appropriately. Behind you 110%. Stay strong!

  31. hisbirdie

    My am so pissed for you! My husbands company does a lot for travel and he promised me he would make sure they never fly Spirit Airlines. ((HUGS))

  32. Mrs. Hot Cocoa

    Dana, keep up the good fight. You have written a series of articulate, thoughtful, powerful expressions of what so many victims of sexual assault feel. Spirit should be very, very ashamed.

  33. Lacey Bean

    Such a bullshit response. I can't wait until this continues to become bigger and bigger so they can't try to send you a BS email response that does nothing helpful whatsoever.

  34. Chris

    Adding my voice to the chorus. As a woman who travels alone and often, I am horrified (though sadly not surprised). I RT'd your link. I appreciate the agent above who said she wouldn't put another client on Spirit. Kudos, and I hope more boycotting takes place.

  35. Chris

    Adding my voice to the chorus. As a woman who travels alone and often, I am horrified (though sadly not surprised). I RT'd your link. I appreciate the agent above who said she wouldn't put another client on Spirit. Kudos, and I hope more boycotting takes place.

  36. Heather

    Wow! As a long time follower of your blog, I really feel the pain and anguish you are going through. Spirit Airlines response was callous, cold and calculated. It is what the employees are "trained" to say. Nobody thinks for themselves anymore, they are all trained to "speak to the public" like we are lacking intelligence and ignorance to our rights. I'm so proud that you are taking a stand and fighting this. Sexual Assault is Sexual Assault no matter how you spin it. I truly wonder how many other women (god forbid children) this has happened to and it has also been swept under the rug. This whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. I truly hope you take this to the media because that is the only way this airline, or any airline for that matter, will be forced to change their policies and how they treat customers. I travel a lot for my full time job and have used Spirit Airlines now and again, I have now officially asked our team to remove the airline from our list of approved flights and airlines. Remember this isn't your fault, you did nothing wrong, and you are an amazing wonderful person who deserves the best. Keep your head up and keeping you in my thoughts.

  37. Jessica

    I am shocked and disgusted by the actions of this company and commend you on your efforts! Your voice WILL be heard, even if it take thousands of angry letters, your blog readers and twitter followers will stand behind you! You are so blessed to have so many people backing you up! So many times women are left to fight battles on their own, and it turns out to be too much and we are forced to just live with it. I am a firm believer in standing up for what you think is right and I applaud your courage!

  38. carrie m

    I just wanted to extend my shock and outrage at the response of Spirit to this situation. Disgusting doesn't begin to cover it. I also wanted to let you know you have one more person standing behind you to make sure this injustice goes no further. I'm so sorry that you have had to go through this. On behalf of an airline flier, a woman, and a HUMAN, my thanks for standing up for what is right.

  39. Also -

    I'd look him in the eye and tell him to stop, and then I'd get a flight attendant and demand to be moved. And yes, I've been sexually assaulted before.

  40. Heather W

    I'm an avid reader of the blog, so had read your horrible situation earlier. Here is another media outlet covering it. http://jezebel.com/5834810/spirit-faulted-for-all

  41. Luis T.

    Spirit sucks. Always has, but even more so now. I'm so sorry you went though this and are still going through it.

    I think the lesson for anyone else who is faced with this situation is to go straight to the police. They are some of the only people with the training and the power to help. Do not try and address this sort of thing as you would a customer service issue. Its a serious crime and a matter for law enforcement. Going to a company official will only trigger a defensive reaction from their organization.

    The public relations officials are not going to respond sympathetically to you because they are afraid of admitting fault in the face of pending litigation. That's crisis management 101. However, I hope you take the next few months to publicly shame them as much as possible, in hopes that maybe they'll change the way their people are trained to handle customer complaints of this nature. The first person you spoke with at the company should have asked you to contact law enforcement.

    I hope the creep who did this to you has been arrested.

  42. VeganBride.com

    Ugh- truly disgusting when companies are so callous in their response to a consumer's impassioned complaint & victimization! I just can't stand this prevalent American business complacency. Just imagine if you didn't have a website & huge following & hutzpah…imagine how many women must suffer in silence! V-E-R-Y disappointed in Spirit airline's repeatedly CASUAL response- guess they didn't know who they were messin' with, huh? I'll give my business to companies who put caring for their consumers' needs, first- the few of those types of companies that exist!! (As an aside, I have found Continental airlines to be pretty consumer-centered in their ways of handling business, & really appreciate the philosophies of companies like Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Ben & Jerry's (and I'm VEGAN!) etc!
    I WILL say that this incident raised a question for me in terms of what to do when someone is accused of a serious violation such as this? Because they are "innocent until proven guilty"- how does that effect the accuser's rights? NONETHELESS, the airline had a CLEAR opportunity & responsibility to take your complaint seriously and MONITOR the person!? If you were a crackpot who just opted to waste hours of her time, filing a false complaint, taking to the net, twitter, making numerous phone calls, filing a police compliant, etc.- all for naught, then they've lost nothing, by making sure to keep an eye on the person…but consider the UPSIDE, and it's unbelievable they wouldn't go out of their way to be compassionate to you & to protect other (especially female) passengers as well!!! So sad- sorry this happened to you- sorry that now, you are victimized AGAIN by having to give so much of your time to make this ugly event "right". Thanks for having the COURAGE to speak out however…think of how many lives you can positively effect!!!

  43. Ana R.

    I'm so sorry to hear that this happened to you, I hope they find this creep and that Spirit airlines does the right thing. Sendind you lots of positive vibes and hugs.

  44. Jenn

    So Sorry this happened to you. I have been sexually assaulted and do understand what you are going through. Not sure though why you are going after Spirit when the person who did this to you is JIM. If you would half put half the effort you have in attacking Spirit Airlines into a twitter bomb/facebook bomb against JIM, he may be behind bars today. I do hope that you are able to heal and to put this behind you. But you need blame JIM, attack JIM, take all you negative energy and your huge tribe of followers to fight JIM.

  45. Cassie

    Also a first time reader who followed a link… I'm very sorry you had to deal with this. What a nightmare for you.
    Can I ask a totally serious question that is not meant to be snarky in anyway? What, in your opinion, would be the ideal response from Spirit at this point? What could they do to make this right?

  46. Leon B

    Dana…i am deeply sorry about what you have had to endure, firstly at the hands of "Jim" and worst at Spirit Airlines. I honestly don't have the words to express just how disgusted i am at the whole sequence of events. In lieu of words, please accept the prayers and positive energies i'm sending to you.
    Dana, you now stand at the cusp of positively impacting policy for an entire industry. Your plight is a perfect textbook example of how NOT to address passenger/client incidences. I will follow you blog intently to see how this plays out. I have influential friends here in Jamaica and will most certainly make each and everyone aware of how callous Spirit Airlines has been.
    As a father of an 8 yo daughter (who occasionally travels in care of In Flight Crew) i shudder at the thought of picking her up at the airport and having her express a similar story, so please extend my deep sorrow to your parents also.
    As a once regular passenger, I can assure you (and insensitive "Heather") that I for one will NEVER travel on Spirit Airlines again, and will encourage all my friends to do likewise.
    Keep strong, Keep up the fight and most importantly, keep us informed.

  47. Melissa

    First time here as well, though I came from a wedding website link rather than because of the Spirit issue… I've flown Spirit and referred friends and coworkers to them, but now that I know how they treat passengers who were assaulted on their flights, I'll never fly with them again and will advise everyone I know not to fly with them as well. God forbid I'm seated next to Jim on his next flight because this airline won't take steps to protect their crew or passengers from a known threat. If it were to happen again, can you imagine the lawsuit?

  48. Melissa

    First time here as well, though I came from a wedding website link rather than because of the Spirit issue… I've flown Spirit and referred friends and coworkers to them, but now that I know how they treat passengers who were assaulted on their flights, I'll never fly with them again and will advise everyone I know not to fly with them as well. God forbid I'm seated next to Jim on his next flight because this airline won't take steps to protect their crew or passengers from a known threat. If it were to happen again, can you imagine the lawsuit?

  49. Emme

    I will never travel on Spirit Airlines. I wonder if the day will ever come that the responsibility and blame won't be shifted to the victim.

  50. Alicia

    Are laws not applicable when you are in the air?! If this happened to you on a bus, or in a cafe, the police would be all over it. This is absolutely outrageous and I hope the only ones left feeling shame are the airlines and Jim.

  51. Iron_Monkey

    you have to look at this from the Airlines perspective as well. As far as they are concerned, this man is not a "known threat." All they have is one woman's unsubstantiated word. They are not a law enforcement agency and they would open themselves up to serious litigation if they took aggressive action against this man or released his name to Dana without any evidence corroborating Dana's story.

    All Spirit can realistically do, because she didn't report it on the flight (zOMG victim blaming!!!!1), is refer Dana to the authorities and promise to cooperate with them in any way possible.

    People can lie, you know. There's no reason for the airline or law enforcement to just assume she's being 100% truthful about the incident. Which is why it's unlikely much will ever come of this.

  52. Iron_Monkey

    you have to look at this from the Airline's perspective as well. As far as they are concerned, this man is not a "known threat." All they have is one woman's unsubstantiated word. They are not a law enforcement agency and they would open themselves up to serious litigation if they took aggressive action against this man or released his name to Dana without any evidence corroborating Dana's story.

    All Spirit can realistically do, because she didn't report it on the flight (OMG victim blaming!!!!, rite?), is refer Dana to the authorities and promise to cooperate with them in any way possible.

    People can lie, you know. There's no reason for the airline or law enforcement to just assume she's being 100% truthful about the incident. Which is why it's unlikely much will ever come of this.

  53. Iron_Monkey

    You have to look at this from the Airline's perspective as well. As far as they are concerned, this man is not a "known threat." All they have is one woman's unsubstantiated word. They are not a law enforcement agency and they would open themselves up to serious litigation if they took aggressive action against this man or released his name to Dana without any evidence corroborating Dana's story.

    All Spirit can realistically do, because she didn't report it on the flight (OMG victim blaming!!!), is refer Dana to the authorities and promise to cooperate with them in any way possible.

    People can lie, you know. There's no reason for the airline or law enforcement to just assume she's being 100% truthful about the incident. Which is why it's unlikely much will ever come of this.

  54. Iron_Monkey

    I love how no one seems to understand what victim blaming even is. Telling someone that you can't take action upon a complaint because it wasn't correctly filed is not "victim blaming" it's just explaining a fact.

    "Sorry for what happened to you, but because a complaint was not made on the flight itself there is little we can do." Again, that's not victim blaming. That's just informing them of the facts. Blaming involves the actual assignment of blame.

    "Sorry that you were beaten up at the movie theater, but because you refuse to press charges against the person who hit you, there's nothing that can be done on our end."

    "OMG VICTIM BLAMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11"

  55. Iron_Monkey

    What do you realistically expect an airline to do in such a situation? They can't just take Dana's word for it and ban this guy from ever flying with them again. You speak of customer service, but fail to consider the fact that this guy was their customer as well.

    I suppose they could have reassigned to him to a seat where he wouldn't be sat next to any women or children(without having to tell him), but beyond that they can't do very much without exposing themselves to the risk of serious lawsuit.

  56. Iron_Monkey

    "I hope the creep who did this to you has been arrested."

    Unlikely in this case. Law enforcement generally wont pursue charges against someone unless there is evidence corroborating an accuser's complaints against them, and that's the way it should be.

  57. SpiritAsYourProxy

    Dude, even though she didn't file a police report, didn't tell the flight attendant, they've offered her free tickets for her flight, free tickets for her PARENT'S flight, and an apology for an employee explaining that she needed to file a Police report as step one.

    I am not a fan of airlines in general, but I think Spirit has reacted appropriately.

    I am a little appalled that just because someone has a blog and twitter followers, she can victimize an airline as a proxy for reacting to an assault…………EVEN THOUGH SHE DIDN'T GIVE THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO REACT AT THE TIME.

    What she is doing is bullying an airline because she can. She was victimized, now she is victimizing an airline.

    Neither action is proper…neither her victimization at the hands of "Jim", nor her victimizing Spirit Air.

    This is much more about her lashing out at her own victimaztion than it is about any failing on the part of Spirit.

    She tried to get the name of the guy from Spirit even though she didn't even file a police report.

    What, exactly and specifically, was Spirit supposed to do? What ARE they supposed to do when they get a phonecall from anyone who says, "Give me the name of the person who sat in seat XXX on flight YYY." Are they supposed to give out that info just because someone tells them a story (without filing a police report)?

    They told her to file a police report. They've offered her free tickets. THEY DIDN'T COMMIT THE ASSAULT. THEY WEREN'T NOTIFIED OF THE ASSAULT SO THEY COULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AT THE TIME.

    Spirit has been fair. LaRue is being unfair, but I'd guess it is because she has a need to strike back at SOMEONE or SOMETHING because of the assault.

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  59. Matt

    On the one hand, I absolutely AGREE that Spirit Airlines failed miserably to ensure a safe and positive environment, free from threats of violence or sexual assault.

    However, from a legal perspective, it would indeed have been easier to seek and receive redress for the crime/wrong committed had it been mentioned immediately. Things such as corroboration of committed crimes/wrongs from those sitting in surrounding seats would have been much easier.

    I do NOT mean to suggest Dana was '@ fault' for waiting to file a grievance. Anyone who is even the least bit familiar with sexual assault can understand an inability to act imposed by fear. However, from a purely legal perspective it DOES complicate things.

    Pending surfacing of further actual evidence/proof, I believe that Spirit Airlines is bound to a) review and revise their sexual harassment monitoring, reporting and reaction policies, b) train employees on the same, c) review this and other incidents to see what could have been done better, and d) ensure responses to this and all other cases, going forward, are in line with what they should be – and not a boilerplate "Not our fault" response.

  60. Alicia

    Dana did in fact file a police report. Dana is not blaming the airline for the assault but rather their reaction or lack there of to the situation. The airline much like a school or any other business has the responsibility to protect its customers especially while they are in a confined location such as an airplane. If your child was assaulted in school, would you hold the school completely unaccountable for the crime? The airline should be doing everything they can to help her and ensure that this does not happen to any other passengers on any of their future flights. Would you have enjoyed sitting next to Jim on a flight where he just assaulted another woman, without knowing? I am pretty sure you would be outraged especially if God forbid he tried to do the same thing to you. Sex offenders have to register so that you are aware if they are even living in your neighborhood. It seems appropriate that passengers should be made aware that one is on a plane.

  61. Anon

    First of all, I am so sorry for what you’ve gone through. It is absolutely horrible.

    However…

    What exactly do you want Spirit to do? I think your anger is a little misguided here. They can’t undo your assault. They couldn’t have given you the guys personal info. It seems like they did everything they could, within their legal limits.

    I think you need to let go of your anger at Spirit, and focus on healing from the trauma you’ve been through.

  62. suburbianbliss

    Just read your blog for the first time today, but I had to comment (again) to say that I am so sorry. I've never dealt with a company that lacks customer service as much as they do. I really hope you went to the media about this!

  63. Lisa B

    I would like to add that I was sexually assaulted on Continental Flight and I have not yet been able to get charges pressed, have charges been pressed in your case. You are not at fault.
    I reported the crime immediately when it happened to me, but no one has filed charges against the known perpetrator yet. Please contact me.