Perhaps some people just shouldn’t be allowed to fly – especially the main character of this story, who decided to get a little frisky with some flight attendants while flying on Spirit Airlines.
James Warren Finnister was arrested on Jan. 6 after having sexually harassed members of the staff while traveling. The details are quite sordid.
A Detroit man is facing federal charges after he grabbed two flight attendants on a plane headed for Orlando and asked if they wanted to join the “mile-high club,” officials said.
FBI Task Force Officers responded to a Spirit Airlines gate at Orlando International Airport on January 6 around 10 a.m. in response to a disruptive passenger onboard a plane flying from Kentucky to Orlando that morning.
The officers were told that James Warren Finnister initially asked the lead flight attendant if she wanted to join the “mile high club,” during the flight, court records show. Finnister had an interaction with another female flight attendant and grabbed her – asking again if she wanted to join the “mile high club.”
The flight attendant was able to free herself from Finnister’s grip and reported the incident to her flight supervisor, officials said.
Finnister also asked a flight attendant questions about entering the aircraft cockpit, which alarmed her, she said.
Apparently, Finnister was three sheets to the wind, having taken multiple shots of alcohol to settle his nerves before the flight, according to statements he made to federal law enforcement. It was his first time being on a plane. He is being charged with interfering with the flight crew. Before hitting on the flight attendants, Finnister had to be moved multiple times while he was lying down on the floor.
Finnister is far from being the first to behave in a sexually inappropriate manner while flying the friendly skies. Last year, it was reported that there was a disturbing increase in the number of instances in which male passengers sexually assaulted female passengers.
The reports address cases in which men grope or inappropriately touch girls sitting next to them on airplanes:
Reports of men groping teenage girls and young women sitting next to them on airplanes are rising, federal numbers show.
So far this year, the FBI has investigated 62 cases of airborne sexual misconduct as of Aug. 3, passing pre-pandemic counts.
According to national figures shared with The Washington Times, the FBI investigated 27 sexual misconduct cases aboard aircraft in 2018 and 65 in 2019.
After that tally fell to 34 incidents in 2020 amid COVID-19 flight restrictions, it shot up to 81 in 2021 and 90 last year as travelers returned to the skies.
“When comparing 2019 to 2021, we have seen a 25% increase in investigations, even as the rate of passengers has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels,” an FBI spokeswoman said in an email.
The FBI said most of the unwanted groping occurred while victims slumbered, with 67% involving alcohol or drugs and 20% involving underage targets.
Sexually abusing passengers is a felony “punishable by up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.”
Flying can already be stressful enough, even if it’s not the first time. But having people like this on flights only makes the situation worse.