Alaska Co-Pilot Says She Was Drugged & Raped By Captain During Layover

Filed Under: Alaska

An Alaska Airlines first officer has filed a lawsuit against the airline over what allegedly happened during a layover last June. Betty Pina claims that she was drugged and raped by the captain she was working with during a Minneapolis layover. The two had gone to the bar, and she claims he must have put something in her wine, as she woke up in his room. Per KIRO7:

“And I’m like, ‘where am I.’ And immediately I sit up and realize my bra and top is on and I’m sliding off the bed. It’s wet and I smell vomit and the blankets and sheets are gathered up at the end of the bed. And I realize my pants and underwear are off,ā€ said Pina.

Pina says that the man who attacked her still works for Alaska Airlines, and she wants him fired. Here’s the statement Alaska Airlines has issued regarding the situation:

This is an open and active investigation and we aren’t going to comment. What we can say is that we are taking this matter seriously. The safety and wellbeing of our employees and guests is a top priority. It is our policy to withhold an employee from work during this type of investigation.

Presumably she’s suing the airline in hopes of them doing a more thorough investigation, given that the captain still works for the airline. While the airline can’t prevent every incident from happening (especially during a layover), they have a duty to do everything in their power to make sure their employees are safe.

We’re not sure yet at what point she reported this to the company. Even if the airline now does a more thorough investigation, it has been nine months since the layover, so that may be much more difficult at this point. One has to wonder how much evidence there will be short of a “he said, she said” testimony. The hotel may not necessarily have video footage anymore (if they had any to begin with), it’s tougher to tell what she was drugged with (assuming she didn’t get some sort of a test the day of), and the captain can’t be searched.

At this point perhaps the best thing that could happen is to see if the captain has a history of this kind of stuff, and see if anyone else comes forward, who may have otherwise been too ashamed to share. After all, once one person comes forward, it’s much more likely that more people who faced a similar situation will come forward as well. People who do these types of things are often serial offenders…

  1. Jesus, Lucky. What’s going on today/this week? Can we please get a feel good story before EOD today??

  2. yeah but did you not pick up her nonverbal cues? also her chakras were saying no the entire time…

  3. I hope she filed a police report when the incident happened, but it sounds like probably not šŸ™ At the very least I hope Alaska is making sure they don’t work together any more.

  4. So they were having layover in the US, which presumably is late night in early morning out. The FAA has a 8 hour bottle to throttle rule, and in many airlines the restriction is even stricter. I just donā€™t see them heading off to a bar and drink in the first place…

    That said, benefit of doubt should probably go to this co pilot.

  5. I’m not sure why she’s suing Alaska. This didn’t happen on company time, it wasn’t in a company area. If anything maybe sue the bar for letting it happen. And the hotel for seeing someone in that condition go to a room. How is Alaska to blame?

    He isn’t terminated yet because this an accusation. I’d there is no proof of misconduct there is no reason to fire them.

  6. Normanā€” Why do you assume they had a late in/early out layover? Sometimes crews get 10 hours of rest, sometimes 15 and heck sometimes even a 30 hour layover. Sometimes they report early, other times late in the afternoon. Based on this article, I have no clue what the schedule was like. In any case, if he did it I hope there is enough evidence to fire and prosecute him.

  7. If she didn’t file a police report right after the alleged incident, she is a liar. And a greedy liar too, since she’s suing the party that has nothing to do with the “rape.”

  8. @grrizzly

    Incorrect. Please don’t post on this topic until you learn how to not be a ghoul about it.

  9. “Pina first reported the allegations to her union representative the night of June 7, two days after the alleged assault, and a day later to an Alaska human-resources official.”

    She did not report it to police. We shouldn’t judge someone who is in a state of physical and psychological shock after being drugged.

    “…a review of the hotelā€™s security video showed the captain tried to forcibly kiss Pina in an elevator.”

    Seems like Alaska is doing to their women pilots what United is doing to their passenger dogs.

    Lucky, in this case this is definitely more than a “he said, she said.”

  10. @grizzly,

    Well said.

    Innocent until proven guilty. The more you wait the harder for your story to hold up in court, even if you maybe right. He said, she said should always go in favour of defendant etc etc.

    Women are no spring chickens. They can be nasty when they want to shut someone down so this BS of how they are like lamb to slaughter is old.

  11. I hate to put this on the victim but did she not think to call the police? and since it was on a layover, she flew back with the person who (allegedly) raped her?? I dunno about anyone else but i sure as hell wouldn’t feel safe flying with the person who raped me. There’s just a lot of factors that dont make any sense here, of course this should be taken seriously but i don’t know why she is taking it it up with the airline and not the police. Rape is a crime, the police deal with crimes, why has she not reported this to the police???

  12. Thanks Boco. That’s important extra information. From the above article, I got the impression she only now reported it months later which is completely different.

  13. The chorus of men in here whining about Pina not immediately filing a police report are expressing their willful ignorance of why many women don’t do that

  14. And any man who is willfully ignorant of this phenomenon Doesn’t Actually Care about sexual assault against women

  15. @Ā Ben L: “The chorus of men in here whining about Pina not immediately filing a police report are expressing their willful ignorance of why many women donā€™t do that”

    Why do you assume that those are men? If something like that happens you head to a hospital. Many of those cases get thrown out because people are innocent until proven guilty. Waiting will make it more difficult to prove something and a dangerous individual will keep running around. And we don’t want that, do we?

  16. Simply put, based on this, no one could know who to believe.

    If if if it was a night of drinking and not one drink… and no other evidence it sounds more like a drunken romp. I would assume the bar could help determine how many and the wait staff could help with how they were acting.

    If if if it was a single glass of wine… it would appear someone (likely the captain) put something in her drink and raped her.

    But, she actually has said she does not know what happened. Was it rape started with a drug? Or two co-workers getting bombed and having sex they both consented to?

    If she is telling the truth, I fear it would be hard to prove rape. If she is lying, I fear it would be hard to prove his innocence.

    I hope and pray the truth comes out and the guilty are prosecuted.

  17. Gentlemen here on the blog, imagine the scenario this way and see if it changes your opinion… you (as a man) are out at the bar for a drink with a male coworker, next thing you know you wake up in an unfamiliar place, nude in bed with him, and heā€™s raping you up the ass. Heā€™s a big guy, has got at least 50lbs on you, is holding you down, and youā€™re still foggy from the drink or drugs. How long before you report it to the cops? Do you report it at all, or are you too ashamed that theyā€™ll judge you?

  18. ditto David: yea but what was she wearing maybe she deserved it

    he couldn’t resist her Luly Yang uniform.

  19. I subscribed to this blog/website to read about travel, in flight experiences from different airlines/products and hotels. When did this site become tabloid airline reporting and airline crew bashing. Iā€™m not making light of recent events, they are horrible but, for crying out loud Lucky, take stock of why you started this site…TO SHARE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES NOT BECOME A SUPERMARKET TABLOID!!!

    We have enough lousy news to read on a daily basis and this was a place to take a trip reading one of your trip reports.

  20. C – A ridiculous comparison as she didn’t wake up half way through, she woke up the next day unsure of what happened.

    Though I do agree the people stating “I’ll do X or Y” are talking utter rubbish. Just like those who judge the people who carry bags off crashed planes, you have no idea how you will react in traumatic experiences until it actually happens.

    Whether it’s from embarrassment, fear or even just being confused/distressed, not going to the police means absolutely nothing as to whether the other person is guilty or not. If you don’t it makes it far harder to prove (and people should ALWAYS be innocent until proven guilty), but it doesn’t make them wrong.

  21. A simple case of “no evidence, no crime” for me… Forensic science can prove a rape if reported right after the assault. 9 months later – it’s anyones guess.

    Seems like a shot at “metoo” level of compensation and some “fame” and interviews and so on…

    If it was reported to HR and others – why not to the cops?

    Too many strange explanations, and severe accusation for what may be a kind of night that all of us had (right? we all had some drunk lays when younger?)

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