Skip to comments.Girl allegedly molested on Delta flight (Freep a Poll)
Posted on 10/12/2007 5:46:32 AM PDT by Sopater
An 11-year-old Alabama girl flying alone from San Diego to Atlanta says a man slipped into the empty seat beside her and sexually molested her on a crowded Delta jet.
The disturbing charges were made public in a lawsuit filed last week in Fulton County State Court could make parents think twice before placing any unescorted child on a bus, plane or train. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
Delta, with more than 1,000 flights a day leaving Atlanta alone, estimates it carries thousands of unescorted young fliers a year.
Savannah lawyer Mark Tate, who is representing the family, said the girl, whose name was withheld in the lawsuit, was traumatized by the incident.
Although the girl reported the incident to her mother when she got off the plane, Tate said no criminal charges have been filed and no suspect identified. The mother took the report to Huntsville police, Atlanta police and eventually the FBI.
"Delta has a very high burden to meet in protecting passengers," said Tate. "We feel Delta didn't meet that. This little girl is not doing well. It's caused severe problems."
Airline officials refused to directly address the charges in the lawsuit.
(Excerpt) Read more at ajc.com ...
Results as of 7:46AM Central Time:
Yes 25.75% 1259 No 74.25% 3630
Cha-ching cha-ching cha-ching.
How does freep want me to vote?
Was the person on the adjacent seat asleep during this alleged incident. I need to have more info on this before I leave my highly regarded opinion
Which is why they don’t go after the perv.
She just sat there and let it happen? I suppose that’s possible but something doesn’t sound right.
I am finding dissonance in the story already. Crowded? Empty Seat? Flight Attendants walking through the isles. People in fron and in back of her. She says nothing, does nothing, can't identify the passenger but they are sueing the airline?
I would love to give her the but if it looks like a duck and is quacking well . . .
Not buying this story at all.
Any parent who would allow a female child to fly alone and unattended should be prosecuted for child abuse.
What a splendiferous COS! This is extortion by lawsuit. What PROOF, other than an 11YO’s word and her $$mother$$ do they have?
I’d never send my pre-teen on a flight alone. Forgetting this article, there are too many possibilities of them not getting to their destination and ending up in a strange city with no one but a stranger to look out for them.
[Any parent who would allow a female child to fly alone and unattended should be prosecuted for child abuse.]
“Cha-ching cha-ching cha-ching.”
“Northwest Airlines paid more than $500,000 to a girl who claimed she was repeatedly sexually molested by a man seated next to her on a flight from Kansas City, Mo., to Detroit Metropolitan Airport in 2001.”
Actually, it’s not as uncommon as one would think, and it happens to adult women as well. Keep in mind, this was a “redeye” flight, so the flight attendants are usually in the galleys and the lights are dimmed. I’m not jumping on either bandwagon, but things like this do happen, and not just to kids.
“This is extortion by lawsuit. What PROOF, other than an 11YOs word and her $$mother$$ do they have?”
- Why am I reminded of the old, “ I found a dead mouse in my coke” lawsuit?
I would assume she was turned over to the flight crew, who would have kept an eye on her and ensured she was returned to an adult on the other side.
Generally you wouldn’t expect any trouble DURING the flight, since you are in a crowded room and the attendents are there to keep the peace. But if someone doesn’t say anything in the middle of an airplane, what’s to keep her from being attacked at school, at a movie theatre, or a playground?
At 11 years old, the parents are not stuck to her side any more.
I’m not passing judgment on this particular case, I’m saying that there’s no reason why an 11-year-old can’t fly unescorted. You just need an adult on either side, and to use the airline’s child transport program.
What a world.
I never used Delta because of other issues, but if this turns out to be true, why wasn’t a flight attendant with the child?
On other airlines with unescorted minors, they are placed in a segregated row; no adults allowed.
Those are the airlines I used to use.
When I was 14 years old, flying alone(can’t remember whether it was AA or Delta)and a man tried to get me to get off the plane with him in New Orleans. We were headed for Atlanta.
That was a long, long time ago. As you can see I did not go. My parents were absolutely livid with anger. I am not sure what they told the airlines; but it never happened again.
I don’t know if it’s my children’s personalities or the way I raised them, or both, but my kids just don’t fall for stuff like this. They’d have raised the roof of the plane if someone tried to touch them.
why wasnt a flight attendant with the child?
Flying (Conair) aint what it used to be...
I let my child fly back and forth to see her grandparents starting when she was about that age. If any man had tried to touch her inappropriately the whole plane would have watched while she took her big heavy riding boots and jumped up and down on his face. No one messes with her, then or now.
Indeed, I suspect there is a bit of fiction to this story. Our son flew NW Airlines to meet grandma a dozen times. The airline staff always placed him at the front of the airplane where they could keep an eye on him. I don’t believe Delta would do anything different.
So what, if there aren't enough unaccompanied minors to fill a row, they leave an adult or two standing at the gate and fly with the seats empty? No airline has such a rule. Many of them have seats that are set aside for kids traveling alone, but those are released on the day of travel to anyone who wants them if there aren't kids in them.
why wasnt a flight attendant with the child?
The flight attendant can't stay next to the child for the entire flight, although they should be checking on the child regularly. They money charged for the service is for the extra labor needed at the airport and for the, ahem, liability involved.
>> She just sat there and let it happen? I suppose thats possible but something doesnt sound right.
I think it’s unlikely in any case that someone would get away with this... more likely on an /uncrowded/ flight, actually.
Plus, it’s not like they don’t know who was in the seat next to her! And it’s not someone who changed seats — the flight was crowded, remember?
My BS meter is reading at the high end also. I think it’s yet another money grab by yet another slimeball lawyer.
*The* money charged...not sure where the ‘y’ came from.
That one struck me. I have done that flight (more often than I want to count....) and it’s just not that long for much to happen “repeatedly”.
I’m just saying.....
My son, now 18 has flown to Orlando alone since he was 14. We had to pay an extra fee to have him escorted by flight attendants. There is no excuse for this. When he arrives to his destination they check the ID’s of his his grammie and pappie. They were very strict about it. This is SouthWest btw.
Since the customer pays for the airline’s liability insurance, we shouldn’t feel bad when the customer makes a, ahem, claim.
I let my pre-teen daughter fly alone to Florida, where she was met by aunt and uncle. She flew Southwest, and I met with the flight attendant whose care she was in, who allayed my fears by assuring me she would not leave my child's side until she deposited her into her aunt's arms. Emily sat with the flight attendant in the bulkhead row. I must confess, I'd have second thoughts now though. Still, don't be so quick to judge.
Sounds like somebody wants a big payday...
This is an awful thing to happen to the child, but how is Delta supposed to stop perverts from flying?
I think I saw that movie. Cue the soundtrack...Boom chaucka chaucka waa waa!
I’m finding this extremely hard to believe.
I first flew alone when I was nine years old (made my connection through Dallas/Ft. Worth on my own as well, thank you very much) and even at that age I wouldn’t have put up with that kind of nonsense for a flat second.
If there’s ever a time for a kid to scream bloody murder that’s it.
There are things people can do to reduce their chance of harm. If you wear a seat belt on a plan, you greatly reduce your risk of in flight injury. If you yell when a stranger touches you in appropriately on a plane, you greatly reduce the risk you will be sexually assaulted.
I’m in no way blaming the victim, but when I was a kid, I was told to yell for help and run away if I was in danger. There must have been at least three or more flight attendants on that plan, and plenty of passengers who would have come to this girls rescue if she yelled for help.
Agreed - if the facts of this story are as described, Delta clearly has significant liability here and deserves what they get. I was just trying to clarify how these programs work, as I have significant background in this area.
Alleged victim...based on the meager facts presented here.
if the facts of this story are as described
Which is why they dont go after the perv.
THAT is my question. I think it’s time for video cams on airlines.
My daughter started flying by herself when she was seven years old. When she was 11 she flew to Europe by herself. These were visits to family members (grandparents, aunts). Probably until her teens she flew as an "unaccompanied minor," which means the airline was acting in loco parentis. They did look after her from all I could tell. Once a teen, she made these trips without bothering for special status. I'm not sure how airlines are much different from any other situation where a kid is separated from his/her parents. The confidence my daughter gained from these trips is unmeasurable. It was one of the things she wrote about on the only college application she ever made. (University of Virginia)
Said to her?! There is absolutely NOTHING that he could have said to my daughter that would make her allow him to sexually molester her!! NADA-ZIP-ZILCH!
Same here with my kids (12 and 10) on USA3000 to Ft. Myers to see their grandparents. I pay a surcharge and an attendant keeps an eye on them and walks them off the plane to an me/grandparents.