Woman Says She Was Sexually Harassed Via Plane's In-Flight Messaging System

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It should have been a routine plane trip on Virgin Atlantic, but for one woman it was a flight to remember. 

Jessica Van Meir, 24, said she received a series of creepy messages via Virgin's in-flight messaging system shortly before takeoff Saturday as she flew from London to Washington, D.C.

"It felt very threatening," Van Meir told Inside Edition. "It felt like they were intentionally targeting me and trying to intimidate me."

One person named "dirty mike" messaged her, "Welcome to hell."

Another referenced her seat number, 55C, and added, "you tidy babe."

Van Meir fought back, informing those she suspected were messaging her ⁠— a group of male passengers sitting behind her ⁠— that she was going to report them.

"I work for a law firm that specializes in online sexual harassment," she wrote, adding, "enjoy being reported to virgin."

A flight attendant then told the men to quit it and one of them apologized to Van Meir. Virgin Atlantic also apologized and said it is reviewing the system.

Still, Van Meir was creeped out during the flight.

"I kept thinking about it and feeling their eyes on me from the back of the plane," she said.

The seat-to-seat messaging system was started five years ago by the company. The airline's founder, Sir Richard Branson, even posted a video promoting the system as a means for flirting between passengers. 

"It's not very advisable to have a system like this at all and if you're going to have one, you should have some methods to deal with the abuse," said Van Meir.


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