American Airlines flight attendants have been warned against using dating apps in Jamaica after the US Embassy in Jamaica issued a special security alert due to a spate of violent crimes targeting foreigners in the country.
Two of the victims of the “violent” crimes in Jamaica were American Airlines flight attendants who were on a layover on the island. The Dallas-Fort Worth-based airline did not immediately provide an update on the condition of its employees.
The safety alert comes just months after an 18-year-old man’s penis was partially cut off and set on fire after he went to a Montego Bay neighborhood to meet a man he had been chatting with on a gay dating app.
In another recent incident, a 25-year-old female victim was allegedly raped by a man she met on a dating app in the Norwood community.
The Professional Flight Attendants Association (APFA), which represents American Airlines crew members, warned its members that “two of our APFA colleagues were victims of violent crime while in Jamaica.”
“This follows a surge in activity against foreign visitors to the country,” the warning continued.
“The US Embassy in Jamaica has been informed of several crimes committed against US citizens through dating apps. These apps are used to meet foreign visitors in public places such as hotels, restaurants and bars, and later attack, threaten and/or rob the victims. In these cases, local officials often do not arrest or prosecute the attackers.”
The union called on the flight attendants to keep the details of the hotels used for transfers strictly confidential.
“Inviting strangers into the private and safe space of your hotel room may open the door to an unsafe and possibly life-threatening situation,” a recent memo continued.
Late last year, the Jamaican government imposed a state of emergency to stem a wave of violent crime that has hit tourist hotspots such as Montego Bay, but the US embassy warns that police rarely arrest or charge attackers. against crimes committed against dating apps. the LGBTQI+ community.
Popular gay dating app Grindr recently issued its own warning to Jamaican users about an increase in violent crime, while the Jamaica Equality for All Foundation is urging increased vigilance among the gay community.