Flight attendants ‘fear for their safety’ amid spike in disruptive passengers

Airline cabin crew are becoming increasingly concerned about their safety as a result of the increase in violence and disruption caused by passengers.

There have been several reports in recent weeks of unruly and violent travelers during the busiest times for the aviation sector before the pandemic.

This summer has also seen frequent reports of workers’ strike amid the airport being dilapidated, staff shortages – after massive redundancies during the pandemic, and passengers suffering delays, cancellations and lost baggage.

The chaos has gotten so bad that a flight attendant says she changes her uniform as soon as she finishes work because she fears for her safety if identified as cabin crew.

An unnamed staff member of an international airline wrote about his experience in an op-ed Guardian.

Writing under the name of Merrill Love, the airline employee said that many passengers are “furious” about the disruption caused by their travel plans, and she often bears the brunt of their disappointment.

She wrote: “He recounts a trial of crimes committed by the airline: lost bags and prams, delayed flights, a night at the airport, all while patting a finger at me as if I were the mastermind who planned the whole and had planned.

“I always enjoy when people talk to me as if I were the CEO: ‘Your company is a disgrace, how dare you treat people like that.’

“Alas, mate. I would. I’m a very modest player on a very modest salary, but it’s part of my job to take it, so I do.”

She adds: “As soon as I come out of the security turnstile, I take off my uniform.

“I used to leave it for the way home but now, if you’re anywhere around the airport, you’re an unofficial public relations representative for the entire airline industry. I sit on the tube and expect someone to tell me Will not recognize the flight.

In recent weeks, there have been several reports of passenger violence and harassment often due to alcohol.

On Tuesday, a Virgin Atlantic plane bound for Los Angeles from Heathrow had to make an emergency stop in Salt Lake City because a British man was reportedly drunk and trying to “pull out the windows”.

Last week, a man on a Delta flight from LA to Orlando was charged with allegedly groping a teenage girl by mixing sleeping pills and alcohol.

Meanwhile, a fortnight ago, a Brazilian man was arrested after assaulting a flight attendant and a passenger on a Delta flight from Sao Paulo to New York.

Earlier this month, an American man also admitted Trolley drinks in the middle of hopping on an airlineBefore taking off his clothes in the aisle of the plane, which was forced to divert from Seattle to Charlotte in North Carolina due to the chaos.

Some cabin crew have chosen to leave work because they fear being stuck in the air with out-of-control passengers.

George Connelly, a Spirit Airlines flight attendant, told insider: “As a collective we’re not coming to work voluntarily, because we don’t want to deal with that stuff.

,[This] In fact, the problem gets compounded because now they have to call the reserve crew members, who may take two, three hours to reach the airport.

According to the US trade union Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), there was an unprecedented increase in disruptive behavior of passengers in 2021, when many pandemic travel restrictions were lifted around the world.

This travel boom coincides with a shortage of airline and airport staff, leading to more chaos.

In November 2021, union president Sarah Nelson said at a Homeland Security transportation hearing: “Flight attendants wonder every morning whether they wear their uniforms. [they will have] a sign of leadership and authority in the cabin to keep everyone safe, or [be] The target of a violent attack.”

In the AFA’s internal survey of 5,000 flight attendants, 85 percent of respondents said they dealt with “unruly passengers” in the first six months of 2021.

Ms Nelson said: “While the number of bad actors is relatively small, incidents of disruption have been so widespread.

“Frequency of events” [has] This has led some in the media to refer to disruptive outbursts and violent behavior as the ‘new normal’.

“This is something we cannot accept for the sake of our safety and security.”