RMC excluded. Stephanie, a flight attendant, has filed a complaint against two Air France pilots for sexual harassment. She testifies in front of an RMC microphone and denounces “omerta” within the company.
The facts took place at the end of last year, during an evening with colleagues. Air France flight attendant, Stephanie on a layover in Madrid with a flight attendant and two pilots. They decide to go out to dinner together and settle down in a restaurant. But the discussion soon lapses, and throughout the evening, Stephanie is subjected to what she describes as “verbal rape” on the part of the pilots. Very quickly after this episode, she denounced the facts to the management of Air France and filed a complaint about sexual harassment. Despite the affidavit of the supporting agent, the planned confrontation is canceled and the complaint is dismissed by the Border Police. His lawyer decided to reopen the case. Stephanie contacted RMC to testify.
Beginning of the evening: “He showed with his arms what sex looks like”
“It was the first time I’ve worked with these pilots. We have too many at Air France. It’s the opportunity schedules that make us work together. The only person I’ve flown with once, was my co-host. When we met at 6:30pm , we wandered near a plaza, and I asked about the history of this square, to which one of the pilots replied: “This square is famous for dipping cakes in hot chocolate. With his arms he showed the shape of sex. Then we tried to find a place in a bar, to have a drink together. One of the pilots, when we realized that we had no place in this bar and that we had to leave, and since he was nearby said to me loudly, “Oh, that’s a shame, I almost took Stephanie from behind. You have to remember that I didn’t know those pilots.” The day before, it was the first time I saw them. Thus and Sé verbal rape materialized in the restaurant. The tone was set when he noticed, barely seated, that there was a woman sitting with her husband. He said, Well done. I replied, “They can speak French, Don’t talk like that.” A family was sitting next to us too. Since we weren’t very nice, at least in what he was saying, they asked to change tables.
Dinner: “Imagine him taking me from behind.”
“I felt like what I was told was a verbal rape. The pilots described me in a very painful situation. For one it was: ‘I put my head between your thighs, I lick, I suffocate.'” he insisted, still looking me straight in the eye, telling me he was trying to clear my head, And that I was hesitant. And because I could not take his head off, I scratched him. He is bald, so if I could take his head off, it was by tearing out his ears. All these words, I took them in a very brutal way. At no time could I intervene and say stop. I remember asking what Being a pilot in the second. He told me, ‘But it could be an experience.’ Helping is my fellow host. He tried to change the discussion, I remember it well. He told me my hand polish was lovely, I looked down and said to myself ‘As long as we change into another discussion’ . But in vain. I continued without stopping. (…) He began to talk to me about my eyes, my hair, my mouth, imagining that he would take me from behind, and that I would surely be the type to come so fast. It was all very shocking and was done in public places where the restaurant was packed.”
Psychological impact: ‘My brain is faltering’
“What bothered me the most was when the medical examiner (who prepares the forensic medical report as part of the investigation, editor’s note) explained the situation to me. As for my mind, I was raped so he went. But in the restaurant. I could not find the strength to answer because I was completely amazed. In front of me, I had Pilots, hierarchical chiefs, were laughing. My brain saw people laughing but what I heard was verbal rape. The brain faltered, the assailants were laughing, they were all happy, and the wine bottles were on the floor.”
Air France action: “Today, the attackers are operating normally”
“As soon as Air France, however, notified my direct hierarchy, the process of protecting the employee from sexual harassment was started. There, yes, I received support from my hierarchy. He called me immediately, as a psychologist called me several times The psychiatrist also called me and we discussed, and Air France took my report two days later very seriously.
“I got a ‘no fly’ certificate. It’s an internal procedure at Air France. This certificate allows me to refuse to work with these two pilots. This means that the person who has been attacked has to be on schedule. The pilots continue to fly. If they are due to I be with them at any time, it is up to me to get off but they can continue the flight. For them, the flight schedule is completely normal. It is up to me to leave, but not them. An internal investigation was opened, because as soon as I reported it, in the beginning of December. It is May And the pilots are still flying. I don’t know if they were arrested, even temporarily. Today, the attackers are operating normally. I still go to work with this “no-fly” certificate valid for one year. I have the impression that this report was not taken seriously. Enough. I have a feeling that the pilots are protected, they can be attacked by a fellow captain, and that there will be no sequel.”
Lack of support: “There must be an Omerta in Air France”
“Air France is waging an internal campaign against sexual harassment. Concretely, I was attacked in December and the pilots are still flying. I would say there is an omerta in Air France. I have colleagues who tell me: ‘You have to be careful.'” By filing a complaint against pilots, you are giving up your career. They are very powerful, and their unions are too. “On the other hand, the young flight attendants, the new arrivals, support me much more than the old ones. There must be an omerta in Air France, perhaps these facts are common to Air France, I am new to Air France and this shocks me. It hurt me, Shocked and terrified, I am angry because it could happen to others.