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A long time ago in a stratosphere far, far away, United Airlines invited people to "fly the friendly skies of United."
But after airline police publicly dragged a passenger off a United plane, "the friendly skies" became a hard sell. Now comes an even more difficult case.
A woman is suing the airlines because a passenger grabbed her butt while masturbating mid-flight. That's not friendly; that's gross.
Too Much Booze
According to reports, Monte Wedl had been drinking on the plane. Four vodka sodas later, he was trying to reach into Anne Maureen Dowling's pants.
He ran his hand up and down her thigh and crotch, the complaint says, "rapidly masturbating under his blanket." Dowling said she "shot out of her seat," and moved to another one.
Dowling reported the incident to the airlines, police and the FBI. Wedl was charged with various crimes in federal court, but acquitted.
In her civil case filed in Colorado, Dowling says United served Wedl too much booze and "took absolutely no precautionary measure" to protect her. She filed her case four days short of two years since the incident.
United has bigger problems with public relations, however. Everybody knows it's not the first time the airlines has been embarrassed by outrageous, in-flight behaviors.
In one case, a passenger reached up another man's shorts to touch his genitals. The next month, a man was arrested for sexually assaulting a woman while she slept.
In the latest incident, it turned out to be a problem for United and FedEx. Wedl was an off-duty FedEx pilot.