Alaska Changes Safety Video, Combats In-Flight Sexual Assault

by Miles Jackson

For frequent flyers, one of the most common repeat practices onboard a flight is the pre-flight safety demonstration. Airlines have tried to use humor, catchy songs, and even rap to catch your attention. The airlines are required to provide the demonstration by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA.)

There are required elements mandated by the agency to be presented to passengers. However, airlines are free to add information just as long as they cover the required items.

Alaska’s Safety Video Change

Alaska Airlines has added a brief statement to its safety video that is very relevant in today’s flying environment. Alaska’s video now states “Your privacy is important to us.  Please report any inappropriate passenger behavior to a flight attendant.”

In April of 2018, Alaska’s CEO, Brad Tilden, sent out an internal memo to all employees of the Seattle-based airline. In it, Tilden told employees he had: “Asked each of our leaders to ensure that proper policies and procedures, proper training, and proper awareness exists to respond promptly and thoughtfully to incidents, and to report quickly if incidents of harassment or assault do occur.”

Alaska Airlines EasyBiz business frequent flyer program

Tilden also followed up in the airline’s own blog, pointedly acknowledging the issue of respect and its importance.

It is unfortunate that any airline has to take such a step, but it is indicative of an increase in reporting of incidents of in-flight sexual harassment and assault.

Even Uber has provided a similar warning on its app telling passengers “Here’s How to Not Get Sexually Assaulted by Our Drivers” (actually entitled “Safe Ride Checklist”)

Reporting Assault In-Flight

Common carriers in business to move people around are faced with a more compelling problem of preventing harassment and assault, but also reporting is a problem. Often people feel reluctant to report this as they are in a small, confined spaces with every other passenger looking (and listening) on. It can be very intimidating for some passengers, particularly those who are probably most vulnerable to such attacks.

Will we see other airlines mimic Alaska Airlines’ proactive move towards combating sexual harassment and assault? I would think so. It also could go a long way towards preventing other types of attacks; even verbal ones. That the door has been opened by asking passengers to ‘report any inappropriate passenger behavior’ is a great step towards safer flying for everyone. (Hat Tip: PYOK)

What do you think of the new addition to Alaska Airlines’ safety video?




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Lee February 28, 2019 - 12:03 pm

Sadly, this is more commonplace than most people realize. Up in the air some people think they can do stupid things without suffering any consequences for their actions. I’ve had troopers meet more than one flight due to some jerk thinking it was funny and ok to grope the person sitting near them, expose themselves, and do other irrational actions.

Miles Jackson February 28, 2019 - 4:58 pm

Agreed, that the frequency of such incidents is sadly disturbing. Alaska Airlines is hoping their efforts discourage such behaviors while also prompting those who experience or witness such actions will report.


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