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May 31, 2018

Woman on a Southwest flight to Philly claims passenger was masturbating

The woman says the man was watching sex videos during the entire flight

Airlines Sexual Misconduct
Carroll - Southwest Airlines Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A Southwest Airlines plane lands at the Philadelphia International Airport.

A woman on a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Philadelphia reported the man sitting next to her was masturbating during the entire five-hour flight. 

The airline has confirmed it's investigating the incident, after the woman reported the alleged masturbating to Southwest on Twitter during the flight. 

The woman uses the Twitter handle @shariatPR, which she said refers to her public relations company in West Hollywood, California. According to LinkedIn, Elly Shariat is the founder and CEO of ShariatPR.


Shariat tweeted how the man was using an iPad to play sexual videos without using headphones, his body "shaking in the throes of his orgasmic bliss."

"I'm so disgusted," she tweeted.


A representative with the airline reached out to Shariat via Twitter and advised her to "reach out to one of the flight attendants," but Shariat replied by moving or alerting staff she would be putting herself "at risk."

"The first time he was 'finishing,' he used his left hand and gripped my right forearm, pinning it down to the arm rest between us," she later told Fox News. "It made it clear to me how strong he was, given how forceful his grip was, which is why I felt uncomfortable and reached out to SW on Twitter — hoping they’d ask my seat number and notify someone — because I didn’t know if he’d try to physically do anything else if I went to take a photo or video, nor did I want to find out."

Shariat agreed to speak with airline staff after landing, but she told TMZ that before he left, the alleged masturbator "patted her on the head" and asked if she "enjoyed the show."

She later said the airline "couldn't have been more insensitive if you tried," and that staff should "learn how to deal w/ sexual assault better than this," she tweeted.