Violence in Our Workplace Rising
May 28, 2021
There have been a number of reports regarding violent passengers aboard airplanes which have been making headlines over the past couple of weeks. Just this past week, a Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant lost two front teeth after being assaulted by a passenger allegedly refusing to follow standard crew member instructions. As in that case, and never acceptable, we are all too often the targets of violence.
According to reports, the incidents of “unruly passengers” has skyrocketed. The Federal Aviation Administration said earlier this month that it was reviewing 1,300 reports of bad behavior by passengers since February - after initiating 1,300 such cases in the prior decade.
Sadly, it is now more important than ever that we maintain situational awareness not only for the overall safety and security of the cabin, but for our personal well-being. This process begins at boarding, when we use our training to identify passengers whose behavior seems inconsistent with the norm. Knowing where your ABA and other resources are, along with familiarization with our self-defense strategies should be practiced daily.
If you find yourself in any escalating situation, get another crew member or passenger to support you if needed, and remember if you become involved in an incident of violence at work, you should be certain to report it to the pilots, file an IOR and follow up with your Local Council on any other reports or documentation which may be needed.