Woman says American Airlines made her sit next to masturbating man

American Airlines, France
Chloe King has urged others to choose "any other airline." Photo credit: Facebook

An airline passenger says she was forced to sit next to a man who'd spent much of the flight masturbating while she slept.

Chloe King, a social media manager from New York, wrote about the incident in a post on blogging site Medium.

"I woke up right before landing to have a flight attendant call me to the back of the plane and inform me that the man sitting next to me had been masturbating beside me while I slept."

She got up and demanded to be seated elsewhere, but was told to sit back down by American Airlines staff as the plane was arriving at its destination in Paris.

"They made me climb back over the sex offender, trapped between him and the window for the rest of the flight. I was shaking and crying and trying not to get sick," wrote Ms King.

It's not clear from her post exactly when the incident occurred or where she had flown from. She says after she reported it to American Airlines staff on the ground in Paris, she was "met with blank stares". Weeks later, she says the company sent her a "generic email regarding the 'disappointing service'".

"I'll never know what exactly happened on that flight, but I do know I'll never feel completely safe flying again. Add an American Airlines airplane to the long list of places where, as a woman, I will feel anxious and vulnerable."

Chloe King, American Airlines
Ms King was on a flight to Paris at the time. Photo credit: Reuters

American Airlines says French police interviewed the alleged offender after the plane had landed.

"American always strives to maintain a safe and comfortable travel experience for all of our customers," it said in a statement.

"We are reviewing how we handled the situation on this flight."

Ms King says the man was arrested - showing American Airlines knew what he did was wrong, yet "did nothing to stop the man's actions or protect my safety in a horrifying situation".

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