As the skies remain unfriendly, flight attendants are taking self-defense courses with specific emphasis on how to deal with unruly passengers. That includes training on how to punch and eye-poke passengers should the need arise.
Flight Attendants Learn Self-Defense In New Classes Taught By TSA
A poll by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) released this week notes that 85% of flight attendants have dealt with unruly passengers in 2021 while 17% have experienced physical incidents. Nearly 60% of flight attendants say they have dealt with at least five unruly passengers this year.
AFA President Sara Nelson noted:
“This survey confirms what we all know, the vitriol, verbal and physical abuse from a small group of passengers is completely out of control, and is putting other passengers and flight crew at risk.”
With the mask mandate likely to be extended due to concerns over the delta variant, the poor behavior onboard is unlikely to let up anytime soon. As a result, flight attendants are turning to self-defense classes in order to protect themselves from a potential physical encounter in the skies.
These self-defense classes, taught by Federal Air Marshals from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have resumed for the first time since the pandemic started. With passenger misbehavior onboard at all-time highs, flight attendants are learning how to protect themselves and others.
Drilling in an us versus them mentality, an Air Marshal can be heard in the clip below warning the flight attendants:
“You are going to possibly die! You need to defend yourself at all costs!”
Flight attendants are learning self-defense moves including how to punch and eye-poke passengers.
I must admit, flight attendant “Carrie” in the video above seems to enjoy beating up the mannequin far too much…
Nelson believes the problem is not directly related to masks and wants to make harsher penalties for
“This is not just about masks as some have attempted to claim. There is a lot more going on here and the solutions require a series of actions in coordination across aviation.
“It is time to make the FAA ‘zero tolerance’ policy permanent, the Department of Justice to utilize existing statute to conduct criminal prosecution, and implement a series of actions proposed by our union to keep problems on the ground and respond effectively in the event of incidents.”
While I’m onboard with her call to make the harsh penalties permanent, given the fact that 75% of incidents onboard are mask-related, it seems hard to make that argument with a straight face.
But whatever the root cause, poor behavior is persisting and flight attendants are now training to deal with it physically, should that become necessary.
Flight attendants are learning self-defense moves including how to punch and eye-poke passengers. While a sad sign of the times, the move comes as violence onboard continues in the United States. Indeed, a new survey suggests the behavior problem onboard may be more widespread than we thought.