Unfriendly Skies - 7 Actions to Stay Safe From Sex Assaults on Airplanes
The number of reported sexual assaults on airplanes is rising according to the FBI. This increase was highlighted in a recent official, "FBI Today" podcast.
Given the thousands of flights occurring every day, the probability of experiencing an assault during a flight is low. Regardless, it's vital to know exactly what to do if you sense you are at risk.
Actions To Help Keep You Safe
Here are some airplane travel safety tips to help keep you safe:
When boarding the plane, scan the aisle and passengers to get a sense of who is on the flight with you, how crowded the cabin is, and the location of emergency exit doors.
If someone sitting in the seat next to you starts a conversation, be polite but be careful what information you share.
Answers to what seem like simple questions such as, "What company do your work for?"; "What hotel are you staying at?"; and, "How long will you be staying?" can be stitched together to offer a potential stalker far more information than he should have. Deflect these kinds of questions with vague answers or no answers at all.
If a fellow passenger asks your name or - even more dangerous - asks for a business card, again, deflect the request with, "I'm sorry, I don't have any business cards with me". Do not check social media accounts or email if anyone can see your phone or computer screen.
Trust your instincts. If your intuition signals you something is not quite right, trust your intuition; ask a flight attendant to move you if that's possible.
If you experience unwelcome touching or worse, notify a flight attendant immediately. Write down the name of the flight attendant and the seat number of the person committing the assault, Upon arrival, report the incident to a law enforcement officer as soon as possible after leaving the plane.
Don't get in a cab or Uber ride with someone who has "chatted you up" during the flight. If you're retrieving your car from an airport lot, pay attention to potential risks and take action as needed to ensure your safety.
To hear the FBI's podcast about the increasing risk of assaults during air travel and to learn what they - and what I - recommend to keep you safe, listen to the June 8, 2018, "Safe Living Today Show" podcast episode. Click the player below:
To reach me with comments or questions about this or other Stay Safe FREA blog posts, email me at SafeLivingToday@gmail.com.
Stephen Carter is a former Chief of Police, Corporate Security Director and safely leader for one of the world's largest financial services companies. He is now the CEO of Stress Solutions, LLC, a company dedicated to helping people enhance physical and emotional wellbeing through stress mastery using mind-body methods. He is the host of the, "Safe Living Today Show" Internet radio show and podcast.