Sexual assault complaints on planes ‘miniscule’ airlines.
Airlines and industry insiders say the number of sexual assault complaints on flights are “extremely rare” but say they have procedures in place if an incident does take place.
No statistics were held by police, but they assured passengers they would investigate any complaint made.
The comments come after several women contacted the Herald about being sexually assaulted on flights.
One included a 23-year-old returning home from a working holiday overseas who says she was indecently assaulted by a man in his 60s who repeatedly groped her minutes into the 16-hour flight last week.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said the man sitting next to her repeatedly touched her, grabbed her hands and kissed them during take off when the lights were dimmed on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Auckland.
An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said it was “extremely uncommon” to receive complaints of physical harassment, including sexual harassment, on their flights.
“Our staff are trained in how to manage these situations and the appropriate authorities are informed if we receive a complaint from a customer.”
A Jetstar spokesperson said it had a “zero tolerance” for any disruptive or anti-social behaviour.
“Complaints about inappropriate behaviour on our flights are extremely rare, but if a customer is uncomfortable with another traveller’s behaviour they should immediately report it to one of our crew who are trained to act quickly if a problem arises on board.”
Once the matter is reported the crew would separate those involved, seating them at different ends of the aircraft.