Shocking: Woman Molested On British Airways Flight

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According to this article, on April 15th while flying from London to San Francisco onboard British Airways flight #285, a passenger awoke from a nap to a horrible scenario. One that is both shocking and disturbing.

British Airways Flight 285

Apparently, the victim was seated in front of the galley in the last row of coach in the cabin section, row 37, while the perpetrator was seated the row in front in row 36. The FBI reported that the following ensued:

“positioned himself in the gap behind row 37 and in front of the bulkhead”

British Airways 747 Seat Map

“While in that gap, Pochampally inserted his hand, palm-side down, into the shirt of the sleeping female passenger…underneath the passenger’s shirt and undergarments for approximately four to five minutes, making skin-to-skin contact in the breast and upper chest area”

When the victim awoke, Pochampally–who was reportedly intoxicated–quickly removed his hand from her shirt and ran away down the plane’s aisle

British Airways Flight molestation

You can read the full affidavit here.

This is quite disturbing and raises some questions. How do you protect yourself from falling into this situation while onboard a long flight?

How should crews handle situations like this? The accused appears to have been simply “moved” to another seat for the remainder of the flight before being apprehended upon landing.

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Anyone that crazy who would attempt that will no doubt hurt someone for real someday.

  2. @antignos: I think he hurt her for “real” this time. I understand what you are saying in terms of even more violent crime like rape but that comment trivializes this incident. I can bet the women is hurt by this for a very long time and that bastard gets thrown in the jail if found guilty for a good bit.

  3. I say let us handle it as customers.
    Private justice still goes a long way in this world.
    Couple of us take him in the back galley and handle it “old school” style. Word gets out… No sorry sack of ……… will ever try that again! Scumbags like that need to be dealt with accordingly. I’m just saying – slap on the wrist will only embolden the next person to hurt someone else.

  4. @scolli01: Nothing like a good’ol mob justice, I see. Things will definitely get out of hand with that though.

  5. How was the woman dressed? Was it provocative? I don’t want to blame the victim here but sometimes you can inadvertently encourage this type of behavior

  6. The title on the post is completely wrong and over-sensationalises the incident. There was only one woman molested rather than many.

    Second, comments are invited as if BA handled it incorrectly. They could only do 4 things when at 37000 feet:
    1. Throw the guy out of the plane at altitude
    2. Completely ignore the incident.
    3. Set up some stocks at the back of the plane and allow passengers to throw left over airline food at him.
    4. Move him out of his row to First Class
    5. Move him elsewhere in Economy, well away from the victim.

    Clearly BA did the best thing possible here, given the circumstances.

  7. This sort of stuff goes on all the time. So long as women fall asleep on planes and dress like this it will continue to happen. I hope the guy is Ok it must be hell for him right now.

  8. I agree with you here Pete. She had it coming. Women need to get more self respect and cover up on flights. Poor guy.

  9. @john: Nice no-blame-victim blame victim you pulled there. Thanks for that input. we needed that.

    @indian pete: this is not sarcasm unlike @paul jakes. If indeed so, my apologies for what’s coming next. If not, FOAD. Irrespective of how someone dresses, no one has the right to make physical contact with someone without their approval. Go back and crawl under the rock you came from.

  10. Indian pete and john:
    Are you f*cking kidding me? I should be able to walk down the street or onto an airplane in whatever outfit I choose and not have ass*oles grab at my chest! Get a f*cking clue!

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