For flight attendants, getting people to wear masks is now one of the most complex parts of the job
Undisciplined passenger behavior has always existed. According to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), before the pandemic, every 3 hours unruly passengers threatened the safety of an EU flight. It is an impressive number, which even made EASA launch, in 2019, the online campaign #notinmyflight: zero tolerance against unruly passengers to mobilize passengers against these problematic behaviors.
So why did I come up with this topic today? Because, in 2021, disruptive behavior may have reached another level of intolerance: actual physical violence against flight attendants, which is escalating dramatically. In fact, flight attendants are describing it as an ‘unprecedented’ violence. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the United States registered about 4,385 incidents of undisciplined passengers in 2021. And, what is most impressive, is that 75% of occurrences are because passengers don’t want to wear the mandatory masks during the trips.
“And what would be the main reason passengers don’t want to use COVID-19 masks?”, you may wonder. According to those investigated, they think they have the right not to wear a mask because they are free people from countries that protect their right to choose.
‘Show some respect’, says Biden
This argument calls my attention because, for me, freedom constantly implies choice and decision, which walks with responsible actions and respect. As Biden recently blasted travelers who harass flight attendants over face masks: ‘Show some respect‘. Flight attendants deserve all our respect because they work, all the time, to TAKE CARE OF us.
To respond to these inappropriate behaviors, some airlines are implementing protective measures for their cabin crew. For example, in the US, flight attendants are taking self-defense classes to learn how to protect themselves from people who attack others in the name of supposed “freedom”. On behalf of SKYPRO, I congratulate those who have taken good initiatives to resolve these cases.
It is all about RESPECT
I consider myself accountable for my actions. Only the person who can act responsibly is free. It is my choice to respect the airplane rules and social health, likewise the physical integrity of Flight Attendants.
It’s my choice to TAKE CARE OF others. Individual freedom must never interfere with the rights of others, even more in situations where our personal decisions have a global impact – as with this pandemic. It is up to us making good choices, with responsibility, to exercise our freedom. It is all about respect.