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Alaska Airlines flight attendants get new sex misconduct training

FILE -- Alaska Airlines Boeing 737s at Sea-Tac Airport (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE - Alaska Airlines flight attendants are getting new sexual misconduct training after a former Facebook executive publicly detailed her disturbing experience on a flight between Los Angeles and Mazatlan, Mexico.

The Seattle-based airline said Monday that it's developing in-person training that will draw from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network and King County Sexual Assault Resource Center for "a research-based approach." There will also be onboard resources to support passengers.

In November, former Facebook executive Randi Zuckerberg said an Alaska flight attendant brushed off her complaint, suggesting she move to the back of the plane after she reported being sexually harassed by another passenger in the first-class section.

In a letter to executives of the Seattle-based airline, she said she was extremely uncomfortable with a man sitting near her, explaining he constantly made sexually explicit and lewd comments to her and others in the first-class section while being served multiple alcoholic drinks.

Zuckerberg said the man talked about touching himself, asked if she fantasized about the colleague she was traveling with, and commented on the bodies of female passengers as they boarded the plane.

He also mocked "Millennial women" when talking about recent sexual harassment news reports.

Zuckerberg said she reported the man to flight attendants, who seemed to make light of the situation while replying the man was a regular flyer on the route.

She said she was upset when they told her not to take it personally and offered to move her to a seat at the back of the plane.

"Which I almost did until I realized ... why should I have to move? I'm the one that is being harassed!" she wrote.

She wrote that she was furious with the airline for "knowingly and willingly providing this man with a platform to harass women."

The airline said it contacted Zuckerberg about the "disturbing" claims and revoked the man's travel privileges pending the outcome of the investigation.

The airline pointed to that and the broader Me Too movement, saying conversations about respectful conduct are a good thing.

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