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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:
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.
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!