Passenger sues Delta after claiming off-duty pilot groped her during flight

Matej Kastelic /

A woman is suing Delta Air Lines after claiming that one of the carrier’s off-duty pilots groped and kissed her during a flight.

The lawsuit, filed on November 20, 2023 at Minnesota District Court, states that the incident occurred during a flight from Las Vegas International Airport (LAS) to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on November 17, 2022.

The plaintiff, Alison Petri of Minnesota, United States, alleges that she was sexually assaulted by an off-duty Delta pilot seated next to her during the three-hour flight.

The off-duty pilot has been identified as Abigail Louise Trebnick-Emerson, whom Petri alleges was intoxicated. 

According to the lawsuit, Petri walked to the back of the plane after being “groped on the buttocks” and “kissed on the lips” by Trebnick-Emerson without her consent. When Petri told flight attendants about her ordeal, they allegedly served Trebnick-Emerson more wine instead of intervening. 

“When you’re on a plane, you can’t just run away and get away from a bad situation, you’re basically a hostage on that flight,” Minneapolis attorney Jeff Storms, who is representing Petri, told The Independent.

Storms added: “Either colleagues or friends were serving her, and instead of cutting her off, it was ‘don’t worry we’ll keep the party going, don’t worry, we’ll take care of you’.”

A Delta spokesperson issued a statement to Business Insider which stated that Trebnick-Emerson was an employee of a Delta subsidiary. 

“The alleged assailant at the time was an employee of a Delta subsidiary but not directly employed by Delta. While we don’t have any specific comment on this pending litigation, Delta does not tolerate inappropriate or unlawful behavior. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and our people,” the statement read.

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