There are really good reasons why famous and wealthy people travel in private jets if they can afford to do so. Flying on a commercial jet takes a lot more time to get in and out of the airport, forces them to interact with the public, and subjects the people to security risks that may threaten their personal safety. Even traveling first-class does not guarantee an experience that is desirable. This is what Randi Zuckerberg learned during her recent flight on Alaska Airlines going from Los Angeles to Mazatlan, Mexico.
Randi happens to be the sister of Mark Zuckerberg, the multi-billionaire founder of Facebook. On the flight to Mazatlan, she was seated next to a man in first-class who sexually harassed her. He began making lewd, crude, explicit, and extremely offensive comments to Randi Zuckerberg right after she sat down in her seat.
NBC News reported some of the details. It is alleged that the man started talking to Zuckerberg about her touching herself and stated out loud his ratings of the bodies of the other women on the plane. She complained to the flight attendants, but they did nothing about her complaints. They told her the man was a regular traveler on this route, he had been asked to stop such insulting behavior before, however, they said to ignore him and that “he does not have a filter.”
They offered to move her out of first-class to a seat in the back of the plane, which outraged Zuckerberg. She thought, “Why should she move when she was the one being harassed?” She later wrote that comment in a letter to the airline.
Randi Zuckerberg is not a lightweight. She is the founder of Zuckerberg Media. In her letter to the airline, she describes what happened and the man’s disgusting and offensive comments and behavior. She noted that the airline’s staff did nothing to stop it. In response, the airline opened an investigation into the matter.
A verbal attack of sexual harassment directed toward someone is a form of assault, which is a crime. Crimes that occur on airplanes are actually considered federal crimes that usually have higher penalties for convictions. Additionally, a civil lawsuit can be filed against the alleged perpetrator that also names anyone involved as a co-defendant, such as an airline that was complicit in allowing the assault to occur and continue.
We hope both Alaska Airlines and the man who allegedly assaulted her have good lawyers because there is nothing nice going to come from harassing the sister of one of the richest men in the world, who is also a very powerful woman on her own as well.