An increasing number of unruly passengers have been observed throughout the pandemic, and flight attendants have updated their self defence tactics to deal with them. In addition, one flight attendant is asking passengers to show a little more compassion the next time they board a plane.
Southwest Airlines flight attendant Nick Guillot told Spectrum News in south Texas he has never had an altercation with a disruptive passenger but ‘you have to be aware and prepared all the time’. ‘Considering the environment, it feels like everyone is at the top of their threshold, and they may lash out without any warning,’ he said. Guillot wants to remind passengers to be considerate of their fellow flight attendants. ‘Just as you are, we are here to accomplish our jobs and go home at night to our families. We just ask for a little bit of grace and understanding’, he explained to Spectrum.
This comes at a time when unruly passenger incidents are on the rise. Fifteen civil penalties have already been proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration against disruptive passengers this year. This year, the FAA has received more than 4,000 reports of unruly passenger behavior, of which roughly 3,000 are a result of passengers disregarding the federal mask mandate. In July, the Transportation Security Administration had resumed self-defence training for flight attendants. As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, classes were previously paused.