Woman sues airline, alleges assault by drunk passenger on Phoenix flight

Nov 2, 2018, 12:35 PM | Updated: 5:34 pm
(American Airlines Photo)...
(American Airlines Photo)
(American Airlines Photo)

PHOENIX — A woman has sued American Airlines saying she was sexually assaulted during a flight from Phoenix to New York, citing failure to protect her and overserving the alleged attacker.

Aubrey Lane, 32, said in court documents filed Wednesday that a drunk male passenger followed her into an airplane bathroom on June 16, 2017, and sexually assaulted her.

Lane was suing for unspecified damages to be determined by a jury.

Flight 1280 left Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport shortly before 10 p.m. for John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The federal lawsuit filed in the state of New York said the man appeared to have already been drinking before he boarded the plane.

He proceeded to order four vodkas and two beers during the flight. Another passenger sitting nearby said Lane and the man had been talking but as “the conversation got louder, more erratic, and more uncomfortable” the witness alerted the cabin crew.

Court papers included a statement from a passenger who said that Lane had told her or him the man had forced his way into the bathroom and sexually assaulted her about two hours into the flight.

“Knowing the clear dangers of intoxication and the sexual assault threats especially on red eye flights, American Airlines offered no protection to Aubrey Lane,” the lawsuit said.

The airline said in a statement to KTAR News 92.3 FM:

We will thoroughly review Ms. Lane’s lawsuit once we receive it. We want all of our customers to have a safe, positive travel experience with us and we are deeply troubled by any allegation of misconduct onboard our aircraft or at any of our facilities. If our crews discover or are told about any alleged illegal misconduct that may occur on the aircraft, law enforcement is contacted and will meet the aircraft upon arrival. In all cases of misconduct between two passengers, we will immediately separate them, and request law enforcement meet the aircraft, which is our standard protocol. It is up to law enforcement to determine what, if any criminal activity, took place.”

Lane had been drinking, too, according to a the other passenger’s statement.

The Daily Mail of London reported the airline offered to settle the suit for $5,000.

Lane and her husband, Jesse, who live in Colorado, accused the carrier of continuing to serve someone who was violating the alcohol policy laid out in thee International Air Transport Association’s 2015 Guidance on Unruly Passenger Prevention and Management:

“Airlines should authorize their ground staff and crewmembers to deny boarding to passengers where there are reasonable grounds to believe that their faculties are impaired by alcohol to an extent that will present a hazard to the aircraft, to persons on board (crew or passengers) or to the passengers themselves.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A man flies a drone as the sun rises over Lake Powell at Alstom Point on September 3, 2022 near Pag...

Maricopa County saw record number of heat-associated deaths in 2021

Maricopa County endured more heat-associated deaths in 2021 than in any other year since 2006, when the county began recording such data.
1 day ago
The symbol for Twitter appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tu...
Associated Press

Musk says he wants Twitter again and will pay $44B price

Elon Musk wants Twitter again — and Twitter is game. The billionaire Tesla CEO has proposed to buy the company at the originally agreed-on price of $44 billion, bringing the tumultuous, monthslong saga another step closer to a conclusion. Musk made the surprising turnaround not on Twitter, as has been his custom, but in a […]
1 day ago
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, at a primary Election Day gathering in Jack...

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney says election deniers are ‘dangerous’ for the state of Arizona

Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican who opposes Donald Trump, said that any election deniers on Arizona's election ballot are "dangerous" for the state.
1 day ago
FILE - Water flows along the All-American Canal Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, near Winterhaven, Calif. T...
Associated Press

California agencies float Colorado River water cuts proposal

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California water agencies that rely on the parched Colorado River said Wednesday they can reduce their use by one-tenth starting in 2023 in response to calls for cuts from the federal government. The agencies, which supply water to farmers and millions of people in Southern California, laid out their proposal in […]
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/The University of Arizona Police Department)...

Tucson police make arrest in fatal shooting at University of Arizona

The suspect of a fatal shooting at the University of Arizona was arrested outside of Gila Bend Wednesday after fleeing the scene.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/ Buckeye Police Department)...

Police investigating allegations against photographer at Buckeye school

Police said Thursday they are investigating allegations of sexual offenses by a photographer contracted by a Buckeye elementary school.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Woman sues airline, alleges assault by drunk passenger on Phoenix flight