For a variety of reasons, passengers increasingly are lashing out at the cabin crew and other passengers at an alarming rate. One “customer” involved in a contre temps explained to those she was assailing that she did not worry about the consequences of her attack BECAUSE law enforcement will not prosecute or so she said.
Her case is but one of many, but it is fair to suppose that her assertion of immunity due to government inaction was a catalyst for a vigorous response. What this alleged offender failed to notice, she was attacking a critical safety person. See how the FAA responded (2nd story).
An attendant was allegedly assaulted on a flight from Miami to New York City.
According to reports, a passenger on an American Airlines flight struck one of the flight attendants multiples times midway through the flight on Sunday….When the passenger began yelling at one flight attendant, another airline worker was called in for help…The two were then reportedly separated, and the suspect apparently continued to argue with another passenger. At one point, the suspect approached the flight attendant again and allegedly attacked her a second time. At one point, the suspect allegedly claimed that the “cops aren’t going to do anything to me.” … Fortunately, an off-duty New York police officer was reportedly on the plane and helped restrain the suspect.
The court documents identify the suspect as Chenasia I. Campbell. She was reportedly taken into custody and is facing charges of interfering with a flight crew, which is a federal offense, NBC New York reports. Campbell is reportedly a Brooklyn resident and is currently unemployed. She previously worked for the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.
…The flight attendant sustained scrapes to the arm and cheek, bruises on her forehead and leg and a swollen hand, according to the court documents. She was evaluated by medical professionals but reportedly refused further medical assistance…
The Federal Aviation Administration is warning air travelers about what it describes as a dramatic increase in unruly or dangerous behavior aboard passenger airplanes.
In a typical year, the transportation agency sees 100 to 150 formal cases of bad passenger behavior. But since the start of this year, the agency said, the number of reported cases has jumped to 1,300, an even more remarkable number since the number of passengers remains below pre-pandemic levels.
The behavior in question includes passengers refusing to wear masks, drinking excessively and engaging in alleged physical or verbal assault, including what the agency describes as political intimidation and harassment of lawmakers.
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for example, a fistfight broke out amid a dispute over mask-wearing. In Washington, D.C., a passenger was escorted off a flight after arguing with flight attendants over the mask rule.
In another case, a flight bound for Los Angeles was diverted to Denver and forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger allegedly tried to open an emergency exit.
“It is not permissible, and we will not tolerate interfering with a flight crew and the performance of their safety duties,” Stephen Dickson, the administrator of the FAA, said of the wave of incidents. “Period.”
The FAA is now taking a “zero-tolerance” approach to poor behavior: Unruly passengers face potential criminal charges, fines up to $35,000 or lifetime bans on certain airlines.
The bad behavior appears to be taking a toll. Angela Hagedorn, a former flight attendant with Alaska Airlines, tweeted that she recently resigned.
“It has been an exhausting time for all the employees who are just trying to do their job according to their company’s policies,” she said. “The constant arguing and pushback from guests, it’s ridiculous.”
Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants union, said airline employees have reported a wide range of troubling incidents.
“What we have seen on our planes is flight attendants being physically assaulted, pushed, choked,” Nelson said. “We have a passenger urinate. We had a passenger spit into the mouth of a child on board.
“These are some of the things that we have been dealing with,” Nelson said, adding that the physical and verbal abuse that flight attendants have allegedly experienced this year has been “way off the charts” compared to the last 20 years.
In the months ahead, as parts of the United States begin to rebound from the pandemic and a greater number of people take to the skies, the FAA — along with the Transportation Security Administration and Air Marshals — plan to watch closely for behavior that threatens crew members or passenger safety.
FAA Proposes Civil Penalties Against Three Passengers for Allegedly Interfering with Flight Attendants
FAA Proposes Civil Penalties against Four Passengers for Allegedly Interfering with Flight Attendants
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