2 passengers say they were sexually assaulted during their flights. They're suing the airline for allegedly ignoring their reports.
Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Two women are suing Frontier Airlines, alleging in a lawsuit that the company mishandled their sexual assault complaints in two separate incidents.
The women said they both reported their allegations to flight attendants immediately, but that the attendants didn’t notify authorities on the ground and the airline didn’t cooperate with investigations.
A Frontier spokeswoman told Insider the company couldn’t comment on pending litigation, but said there are “strict policies in place to proactively and appropriately respond to reports of misconduct and alleged crimes.”
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Two women are suing Frontier Airlines, alleging that they were sexually assaulted mid-air by fellow passengers and that the airline refused to cooperate with authorities investigating the claims.
The lawsuit, filed December 16 in federal court in Denver, Colorado, and seen by Insider, alleged that Frontier Airlines failed to enforce “uniform policies and procedures for the prevention, deterrence, and response to in-flight sexual assaults” and failing to notify or cooperate with authorities afterwards for the two separate incidents.
One of the women, Lena Ramsey, told ABC News she was on a late-night flight in October 2018, when a passenger sitting behind her reached forward and groped her.
Ramsey alleged in the lawsuit that she immediately notified a flight attendant, but the flight attendant refused to allow her to switch seats, didn’t report the incident to anyone else, and never requested that authorities meet the plane upon landing.
The lawsuit alleged that Frontier also refused to provide Ramsey and the FBI with the identities of passengers who groped her or other potential witnesses.
The other woman who has sued Frontier, whom the lawsuit refers to only as Jane Doe, made nearly identical claims, alleging she reported a sexual assault to a flight attendant during a November 2018 flight. She alleged that the flight attendant never notified anyone and Doe was never given the identities of her assailant or other witnesses.
Frontier spokeswoman Jennifer De La Cruz told Insider that the airline couldn’t comment on pending litigation.
“However, I can tell you that the safety of our passengers and crew members is our number one priority at Frontier Airlines and we have strict policies in place to proactively and appropriately respond to reports of misconduct and alleged crimes,” De La Cruz said.
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The lawsuit cited the FBI’s 2018 statement saying sexual assault reports during flights were increasing “at an alarming rate.”
The FBI also advised that flight attendants and captains take actions such as alerting law enforcement before landing, or putting the offender “on notice.”
“Frontier can — and has a duty to — implement and enforce policies and procedures to prevent and deter in-flight sexual assaults and to properly respond to those that do occur, just as it does with other forms of passenger violence and disruption,” the lawsuit said.
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