I honestly didn’t even know this was a thing until very recently. I am so very, very lucky that after a lifetime of flying round and round the world and many years of flying domestically in the USA I haven’t had a problem, but after some recent news coverage of sexual assault on planes my radar is now firmly tuned in.

The following article from Smarter Travel is important reading for anyone who will be getting on a plane, ever. If I can throw in my two cents it would be this: Just as you are trapped in a small space when you are on a plane, so is the perpetrator. Fight. Yell, scream, hit, kick, do whatever you can as loudly as you can. Scream for help. We live and fly in a post 9/11 era. Other passengers will be quick to help you.

In front of everyone and at the top of your voice demand the flight attendants move the perpetrator and demand the pilot radios ahead for the police. When a plane full of people are witnessing what is happening, action will be taken.

The following article was written by Shannon McMahon and first appeared on SmarterTravel.com on March 19th 2018.

image via SmarterTravel.com


A lot of terrible things can happen on a plane. An anxious mind might run through them before take-off: a runway crash, mid-flight mechanical issues, a medical emergency. But how often do you worry about a fellow passenger committing sexual assault?

In-flight sexual assault is a problem that’s remained largely under the radar until the #MeToo era, as passengers question airlines’ handling (or lack thereof) of sexual assault on their planes. Delta is currently being sued by a passenger who says the airline filed no formal report after she was sexually assaulted on one of its flights, the Seattle Times recently reported.

A recent survey from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, a union of 50,000 flight attendants across 20 airlines, suggests that in-flight sexual assault allegations are reported to law enforcement less than half of the time. The AFA survey also found that one in five flight attendants had encountered a passenger-on-passenger in-flight sexual assault.


What to Do if There’s a Sexual Assault on Your Flight

Who’s responsible for your safety when the cabin lights dim, and what happens after an in-flight sexual assault if that near-unthinkable prospect becomes a reality?

Because Delta and other airlines declined my requests for comment, I asked the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA what passengers should do in the event of an in-flight sexual assault, and what airlines are doing to adapt. AFA president and spokesperson Taylor Garland tells me two airlines stand out in better handling in-flight sexual assault, and shared some key to-dos.


Know the Basics

One of the main problems with in-flight sexual assault is that airlines often respond to them the same way they would to an unruly passenger, despite the fact that sex-related crimes are more sensitive.

“All flight attendants go through de-escalation training and unruly passenger training. We are also trained to respond to assault,” Garland says.  “There is no specific training for flight attendants on how to handle sexual assault.

 Still, some airlines are better about handling the issue: “Alaska Airlines and United Airlines have been working to update policies and training to address sexual assault,” Garland says. “They’re leading the industry on this and we’re not aware of any other airline doing the same.”

The FAA doesn’t require any sexual assault-specific training for flight attendants, and crimes committed on an airplane fall under federal jurisdiction (the FBI if you’re in the United States).

Alert a Flight Attendant

The first responders in these situations are the cabin crew.

“Do your best to notify a flight attendant,” Garland says. “Sometimes this is hard to do if passengers are seated in a window seat, where they might physically have to climb over the perpetrator to get to a crew member.”

Victims in a window seat unable to get out of their row should use the call button, and loudly object to make sure others around them know there’s a problem. Garland notes witnesses, too, can be responsible for speaking up and helping report sexual assault: “If you witness something on a plane, always alert a flight attendant.”

The lack of personal space and presence of alcohol on planes can also be factors in an in-flight sexual assault. “Seats are closer together so the line of sight is diminished among passengers, and with fewer flight attendants there is simply less oversight,” Garland says. “On night flights the cabin is dark. Alcohol is an issue. This is commonly reported as a more frequent factor when flying to a vacation destination or places like Las Vegas.”

Request a New Seat

The main response to an in-flight sexual assault is to re-seat the victim away from their assaulter, so this should be your first request if it’s not done right away. “In every instance, there should be an effort to immediately separate the passengers,” Garland said.

This can be difficult in crowded cabins, but removing yourself from the issue is, as in most altercations, the first step.


Make Sure the Pilot Knows

“Procedures would also call for reporting the incident to the flight deck and the airline, at a minimum,” Garland says. This is how law enforcement will be notified and able to meet you at the gate for assistance.

“There is not a direct reporting process,” Garland notes. “The flight attendants report to the flight deck, who reports to ground personnel for the airline, who in return would report to local law enforcement or the FBI. Unless there has been some other disruption/interference with the flight crew, the victim must say they want to file charges.”

That last part is important—because airlines have little legal responsibility in these situations, victims of in-flight sexual assault will often have to advocate for themselves to ensure proper reporting steps are followed. Ask questions to make sure law enforcement will be waiting for you at the gate.

Contact the Airline

While your first priority as a victim or a witness should be to deal with the immediate situation and to speak with law enforcement, follow up with the airline afterward to make sure the incident is documented internally, as well. With no inflight protocol for assaults that are sexual in nature, airlines should be adapting with the times, the AFA says:

“Flight attendants need the tools to be able to address this. AFA also calls on airports, airlines, and government agencies to immediately enlist everyone traveling in an effort to stop sexual harassment and sexual assault. The greater the discussion around denouncing these acts, the safer all passengers, crew, and airport workers will be,” Garland says.

“Onboard sexual assault is a unique crime and should be identified as one.

SmarterTravel Editor Shannon McMahon is a former news reporter who writes about all things travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Have you ever wondered how celebrities always look so amazing on their wedding day? How their dress is not only the perfect cut, style and shape for their body but also stays looking immaculate all day? Or how all those pictures in wedding magazines always look so perfect? How the jewelry is the perfect accompaniment to that particular dress, every element is just right?

I am going to let you in on a bridal secret. On every wedding magazine I shoot and every celebrity wedding I work on there is a wardrobe stylist pulling everything together, taking care of every tiny detail. This is not just for the rich and famous though – regular brides can take advantage of this type of service too!

wedding wardrobe stylist

Ristyle Consulting photographed by Marisa Belle Photography

My friend Risa Kostis of RiStyle Consulting not only works with me on magazine shoots and campaigns, but also on weddings. She provides the coolest service for brides, and although she does have a high powered celebrity clientele, she also works with non-celebrity brides, A.K.A. regular girls.


Should You Hire A Wardrobe Stylist For Your Wedding?

I know this is somewhat of a new concept for many brides, but after everything I have seen from working on more than 500 weddings I have to say yes, if you can do it hiring a stylist is a fantastic idea! When I first started doing weddings I had to explain to brides why they should invest in a makeup artist for their big day. For most it was a really new concept.

When I started airbrushing I was the only airbrush makeup artist in my state (Arizona), and although it was required for most makeup jobs I was doing in Los Angeles, here in Phoenix I would have to show brides in order for them to be willing to try it. Of course they LOVED it. If you haven’t thought about working with a bridal wardrobe stylist, either for styling your entire bridal party from start to finish, or for day of wedding assistance, read on, because this is bridal fabulous!

What Exactly Does A Wedding Stylist Do?

For RiStyle Consulting’s Bride’s Best Friend services there are different layers and levels of help available.

From helping choose the dress to co-ordinating bridesmaids dresses, to day of help – there is a lot.

Choosing The Dress.

One of Risa’s Bride’s Best Friend options is helping brides choose the right dress for their body size and shape, for the climate they will be getting married in and for the style of their wedding.

wedding wardrobe stylist

Risa Kostis with bride courtesy of Round Lens Photography

There are so many little details to think of, from the cut of the dress to the fabric choice to how it frames your derriere. Face it, the world will be seeing you from behind on this big day, so you want a dress that makes your bottom look beautiful and that doesn’t allow any back fat to roll over the top or under your arms. Celebrities are so aware of these types of details, be it for red carpet events or weddings, so they have stylists on speed dial to make sure they get it right!

After years of working in fashion around the United States and around the world (Risa used to live in Florence!) styling photoshoots and events, Risa knows how to help you get the best dress for your body (and budget!) and which shapes are going to flatter you most.


Grooming The Groom

Guy’s need help too, or maybe the bride needs help figuring out the details of what the guys are going to wear. Pocket squares or not? Bow ties or regular ties? What type of knot should they be tying? Cumberbunds? Vests? Suspenders? What about the style of tux or the complimentary colors to tie in the bridesmaids dresses?

These details can be overwhelming to a bride, but are quite easy for Risa and her team.

The Bridesmaids Dresses

Risa helps choose bridesmaids’ dresses too, from helping you to coordinate color palettes to understanding the shapes, fabrics and cuts of dresses and how they will work on your bridesmaids’ bodies.

wedding wardrobe stylist

image courtesy of Round Lens Photography

In magazine shoots everyone has a perfect model body, in real life we come in all shapes and sizes, so having someone who understands that working with you can save you no end of problems down the road! I can’t even count how many times I’ve had a traumatized bridesmaid in my makeup chair, dreading getting into the dress that makes her look fat/shows too much leg/shows every dimple even through spanx.

For those of you who don’t have a perfect team of professional models for your bridesmaids, a wedding wardrobe stylist prevents these types of problems from occurring. For those weddings who do have a bridal party full of professional models there is normally a stylist involved in the dress selection anyway!

Mother Of The Bride

Finding the right dress can be stressful for the mothers too. A bridal wardrobe stylist works with mothers who need or want their help and finds them fabulous dresses for the big day.


Wedding Day Styling

I am not around for all the pre wedding work, most of my job with a bride and her girls happens on the day of the wedding (I do the makeup). After working on more than 500 weddings I have to say I have pretty much seen it all! From exploding wedding dresses, to rips and tears in bridesmaids dresses, to alterations that have gone wrong – so much can happen on the wedding day!

wedding wardrobe stylist

image courtesy of Marisa Belle Photography

Risa (or your stylist) arrives during the makeup and hair schedule and starts steaming dresses, making sure the alterations are correct, and generally getting all the wardrobing ready for the photographers and then ready for the bride and her ladies.

Until you get married or have been in several weddings you don’t realize just how many wardrobe issues show up on a wedding day! From having to fashion tape girls into dresses to sewing on buttons, fixing hems, fixing ripped straps, helping the guys get their ties correct – a wedding day stylist takes care of so many things!

wedding wardrobe stylist

She also goes with you for your pictures, making sure the dress is sitting right, hasn’t bunched up or become lopsided, the train is fanned out right, the veil is sitting perfectly. She also keeps an eye on the bridesmaids and groomsmen, keeping their wardrobe and the overall look of the shoot just right.


wedding wardrobe stylist

image courtesy of Marisa Belle Photography

Photographers love it because they can just concentrate on the photography and not be adjusting ties and dresses. Brides love it because they know they are going to look fabulous, so they can relax and just enjoy themselves.

wedding wardrobe stylist

image courtesy of Marisa Belle Photography

Wedding planners love it because they can be focusing on all the other details they need to take care of with the wedding, knowing that the bridal party is being taken care of with an extra set of very well trained eyes.

wedding wardrobe stylist

image courtesy of Michaela Magnum Photography

Where is RiStyle Consulting?

Risa is based in Phoenix but she flies to work with clients around the country and around the world. Risa also has a team of wedding pro’s who work with her.

Find out more about Risa’s RiStyle Consulting wedding stylist services here.

Contact Risa with any questions here.

If you are planning a trip to Rome, or have been to Rome, you need to know about this book.

The History Of Rome In 12 Buildings

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. See Disclosure Page for details.

I have been reading, underlining, ear marking pages and sticking post it notes to this fabulous new book by Phillip Barlag.

The History of Rome in 12 Buildings: A Travel Companion to the Hidden Secrets of The Eternal City
is a fantastic way of exploring Rome, learning about its history and at the same time learning about some intriguing buildings.

Of the 12 buildings there are three of the usual suspects, the Colosseum, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon, but the author’s view of them and the information he gives shed another new light on them. Even if you have been to these buildings a hundred times over as I have (well, maybe not 100, but definitely more times than I can count) you will still gain something new from reading these chapters.

The History Of Rome In 12 Buildings



The remaining 9 buildings he takes you to are fascinating and although within walking distance of the Colosseum, quite possibly haven’t yet made it onto your itinerary. From the Mamertine Prison to the Mausoleum of Augustus to Ara Pacis, there is something new for everyone! If you are already familiar with all 12 buildings in the book you will still take away something new.

Rome is huge, and its sprawl can feel overwhelming to a traveler. There have been times when I haven’t ventured out to see a site or monument because it has just seemed too far, only to find later that it was in fact quite close. In the book Barlag uses a well known site, the Colosseum, as the starting point from which you head out to each of his buildings, telling you that with your back to the Colosseum this is a 15 minute walk. (Or however long it takes.) This gives you an easily understandable concept of where everything is.

He also gives you the metro stop for each site, and knowing that travelling is hungry work he gives you the names and addresses of his favorite restaurants close by.

As he closes each chapter he also gives you another building nearby that either bridges the story or the space between the one you’ve just read about and the next. It is fantastic!



If you’ve been following this blog for more than 5 minutes then you will already know that I love Rome. I adore Rome. I can’t wait to get back to Rome (in just a few weeks from writing this post) and will be taking this book with me when I go back.

The History Of Rome In 12 Buildings is available here on Amazon.com
Find The History of Rome in 12 Buildings on Audible here

Buy it for yourself if you plan on ever going to Rome or if you want to re-live memories of this magnificent city. Buy it for family or friends who are going to Rome.

Please also take the time to leave me a comment once you have read The History Of Rome In 12 Buildings – you will love this book, and I love hearing from you!


This post contains Amazon affiliate links. See Disclosure page for details.