Alyson Beaudoin-Goodman complains of in-flight harassment from drunk passenger

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Daily Brew

Air travel has its challenges, and they often comes in the forms of crying babies or "shoulder-leaners" in the seats surrounding yours.

These frustrations are expected. You make a cute face at the baby, gently nudge the sleeping stranger until he leans in the other direction, put your headphones on and keep reading your magazine.

Alyson Beaudoin-Goodman, 19, of Newfoundland, didn't have such luck. The person next to her on an early Monday Air Canada Jazz flight from Yellowknife to Calgary: a drunk man she's now accusing of sexual harassment.

"He was like touching me and nudging me and I asked him to stop twice — he kept doing it," Beaudoin-Goodman told CBC News, adding that his vulgar comments including saying he'd like to take her to a hotel.

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Beaudoin-Goodman told a flight attendant of the man's rude advances. While the attendant told the man to stop talking to Beaudoin-Goodman, there were no free seats available to move him elsewhere.

Beaudoin-Goodman says the complaint only further angered the man who then started swearing at her. She felt "trapped."

"The only thing that upsets me is that there was no seats and if he was to get violent, where was I going to go — where would I go?"

Swedish reporter Lena Petterson's in-flight story brings up the same "Where would I go?" question. Last month, the passenger next to her died mid-flight — she was forced to sit next to his blanket-covered body until the plane landed hours later.

Beaudoin-Goodman, who remains adamant that the airline shouldn't have let the man beside her board the plane in his inebriated state, offers a solution: the airline should keep an extra seat open in case someone needs to be moved.

Unfortunately, with overbooking becoming the norm — airlines want to "protect themselves against vacant seats due to no-shows and late cancellations." One study found empty seats are rarely available on flights.

The question still remains: "Where would I go?"

Beaudoin-Goodman plans to file a formal complaint.

What would you have done?

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