Keeping the Skies Safe
August 6, 2021
Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic Flight Attendants have been on the frontlines of aviation. We have done our part to safely keep the travel industry going including working flights that have delivered the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine across the country. In spite of the inherent dangers, Flight Attendants continue to perform their duties as aviation’s first responders.
We are now facing a new danger when we come to work. We are seeing a rise in passenger to passenger and passenger to crew incidents. According to a recent survey, conducted by AFA-CWA, 85 percent of Flight Attendants dealt with unruly passengers and nearly 1 in 5 experienced physical incidents in 2021.
Let us make this clear, it is NEVER acceptable for a Flight Attendant to be verbally or physically assaulted. We cannot allow this trend of unacceptable incidents to become common place. It appears every time we turn on the news, we hear about another horrific incident of a passenger attacking a working crew member, or a fight between passengers breaking out on an aircraft.
There is no excuse for the “bad behavior” we are seeing. It is a direct violation of federal law to interfere with working crew, and we need to see action taken against those that would put Flight Attendants and the traveling public at risk.
We need your support in continuing to pressure Washington, the FAA and the Department of Transportation to act. The safety of our skies is our number one priority. But we cannot complete our job safely without the support of the Federal Government and the airlines for which we work behind us. For our safety and that of passengers and in the interest of our airlines, the “zero-tolerance” policy must be made permanent.
In addition to our other responsibilities, it falls on us to record and report every instance of disruptive and violent passenger behavior that impacts the safety of our aircrafts. The reports we generate provide necessary evidence to strengthen current laws and open the door for new legislation to be penned in our favor. We recognize this is yet just another something we must do but we need to remind ourselves of the vital nature for this reporting. It is the necessary foundation for the safety structure we seek to put in place.
When filing a safety related report remember to copy AFA to ensure our Safety, Health and Security Committee Members, locally and at the MEC level, can track incidents in supporting each of us.