In a post made to Instagram on December 20, 2021, a flight attendant for Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, Jenessa Beatriux, says she was sexually assaulted by a passenger and the airline did nothing about it.
According to the flight attendant, the assault took place on May 30, 2018 while pushing the beverage cart through the aisle. That's when a passenger stuck his hand up her dress and she felt "bare rigid fingers" digging into her body. She screamed and passengers took notice, one of them being country music star and comedian, Jessica Michelle Singleton. Singleton instantly tweeted the airline "my flight attendant just screamed at full volume."
Beatriux says the airline did nothing about the incident although it was reported to the pilots, and later properly documented as per company required procedures. She wonders "why didn't they call law enforcement? Or have a Supervisor meet the plane as is the protocol for a "guest disturbance" which is what my sexual assault was called?" She also noted that she was reprimanded by the airline for creating a "passenger disturbance" by screaming when the assault took place and was also told she may face corrective action for the incident.
According to the statement posted on Instagram the airline didn't allow her to file a police report at the time but she told us, she later filed one anyway. During the airlines' investigation into the assault, they didn't allow her to take time off with pay, instead, she was forced to call in sick and occur penalty points for her sick calls. Beatriux also noted the airline didn't contact her to collect her statement right away, they first contacted her crewmembers to see if there were any witnesses to her claims, ignoring the tweets from passengers.
Although the airline never answered Beatriux's emails about the investigation, results, or any request for an update regarding the situation they did post a blog update to entitled "Making Respect Real" on November 9, 2018 in which they disclose that over the summer of 2018 RAINN had partnered with the airline to offer trainings that focused on providing skills and strategies for preventing – and responding to – sexual harassment and assault. “On a cruise, you have a medical team, guest care team – literally everyone you need is on the ship. Airplanes don’t have that. They’re a small space. We talk about moving people to a safe space [when an incident occurs], but you don’t always have that luxury on a plane.” The post also stated: "While we’re moving in a positive direction, combatting sexual harassment and assault on our aircraft is an ongoing process." Although they never cite Beatriux's account or situation, much of the training and blog post contains references to the very situation she describes.
When asked why she posted this very raw detail about May 30, 2018 Jenessa Beatriux said the airline ignored her situation completely and "I pray this allows others to speak up."