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Airline workers ‘groped woman and lunged at violin’

June 9, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Domestic airlines in the US are under fire again, with a gate agent accused of trying to “wrestle” a valuable 17th-century violin from the grasp of a classical violinist and, on another flight, a woman passenger claiming that a flight attendant sexually assaulted her and touched her inappropriately.

First, the aggrieved violinist. Yennifer Correia was on her way to play with the Missouri Symphony Orchestra when she says a belligerent gate agent manhandled her precious instrument.

She has accused the United employee of “lunging” at her instrument as she tried to board a flight to St Louis.

Correia, who was travelling on a discount fare, had wanted to hand-carry the violin aboard instead of checking it as hold baggage, according to a statement from her lawyer.

The encounter caused Correia to miss her flight and her first rehearsal with the orchestra, as well as filling her mind with concern about “possible damage to her hand from the attack”.

USA Today reported that United had refunded Correia’s airfare and discussed the matter with its Houston employees. It quoted a spokesman saying the airline had “reached out to Ms. Correia to gain a better understanding of what occurred and to offer assistance.


Second, the groping allegation. Laurel Roberson says she was sexually assaulted on an American Airlines flight on Mother’s Day weekend.

Roberson was on a flight back home from Texas when she says a flight attendant sexually assaulted her and touched her inappropriately on the breast, CNN reported.

Roberson says matters got even worse at the end of the flight, when she paused to let a another woman passenger out in front of her. After that courtesy, she alleges the attendant approached her again and grabbed her shoulder to physically stop her as she went forward.

“And he leaned over, and he said, ‘I saw what you did right there, letting her out. You are a nice girl.’ And he leaned in to kiss my lips. And I ducked my head, like this, so he kissed the side of my face. And my heart started pounding and all I could think was ‘get away from here’.”

Roberson, who has filed a complaint with the airline’s customer relations, claims that she was informed that American Airlines could not release the company’s general sexual assault policy.

Written by Peter Needham

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