Barred Alaska Airlines passenger claims 'reverse discrimination'
After being barred from flying Alaska Airlines for allegedly touching the buttock of a flight attendant, San Diego, Calif., resident Mike Timon claims he's the subject of "reverse discrimination against men," KTLA reported.
The 53-year-old maintains that he "politely" touched the flight attendant on her back to get her attention and order a drink.
Instead, he says he was accused of misconduct and met by police after landing in his home city.
The following day, he contacted the San Diego Union-Tribune to share his story.
"For me to be accused of this, and for me to be escorted off the plane by police? This is it. I'm blowing up…It's unnecessary. It's discrimination toward me," Timon told the outlet.
While the publication was unable to confirm the specifics of the incident, Timon said that after allegedly tapping the flight attendant he pushed his call button.
A male flight attendant arrived at his seat to tell him he'd been cut off from alcohol and had been accused of assaulting the woman.
He told the Union-Tribune he'd had just one drink at the time and was "100% sober."
"What about us guys?" he said. "I can't tap a flight attendant on her back to politely ask for something, yet I get accused of something? It's out of control and I am pissed."
Alaska Airlines, which does not accept cash for alcohol purchases aboard the plane, should easily be able to prove how many drinks Timon purchased through credit or debit card receipts.
Ann Johnson, a spokeswoman for Alaska Airlines, declined to comment on the specifics of Timon's case, but was adamant that the company has a zero tolerance policy for such behavior.
"Alaska Airlines will not tolerate any type of sexual misconduct that creates an unsafe environment for our guests and crew members and we are fully committed to do our part to address this serious issue," she said in a statement obtained by the outlet.
Additionally, Johnson told the publication Alaska Airlines is currently at work on updated policies and training "to ensure that crew members have the tools they need to prevent, identify and address sexual harassment on board, and will have more to say about what that looks like later this winter."
While Timon refutes the flight attendant's version of the events that unfolded during the Dec. 26 flight, a fellow passenger detailed the events on Facebook.
She said in her post that she was thrilled to see Timon removed from the plane by authorities.
"It was everything we could do to keep from applauding as he was led away," she wrote.