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Black Flight Crews Reveal Horror Stories With Passengers
The number of unruly passengers is at an all-time high, and Black flight crews are dishing on some of the worst moments.
Since Jan. 1, 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration has reported more than 5,000 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, including more than 2,600 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal facemask mandate.
A recent survey conducted by The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA found that at least 85% of flight attendants have dealt with unruly passengers. The survey included answers from nearly 5,000 flight attendants across 30 airlines.
Travel Noire reached to Black flight crews who detailed some of their horror stories with passengers. And while all are not unruly, some will make you uncomfortable.
To protect the flight attendant’s identity, some of these stories are anonymous.
Passengers Finding You At Your Hotel
“I worked as a flight attendant for 4 years while in grad school. What I found downright terrifying is how easy it was to find flight crews.
In some cities we traveled to, it was common knowledge where the flight crews would stay because the town would be comparatively smaller than larger cities.
There would be times when delivery people would bring food to my room and then text me after about how attractive I was. Hotel staff would do the same to the point that it would just make you uncomfortable.
My guess? People are obsessed with fulfilling the uniform fantasy.”
Disruptive Passengers On Previous Flight "Saw Me and Tried To Fight Me In Las Vegas"
“Just recently, I remember being lenient with two passengers. I didn’t escalate the situation to the level that they would be arrested. The whole situation was about mask mandates. It got so bad during the flight, we actually thought about diverting the flight.”
“We just so happened to be laying over in the city that we were taking them to. They saw me and my coworker walking on the Las Vegas strip and tried to fight us. They literally ran after us and we had to call the police. We followed up with the FAA, and they ended up getting arrested shortly after the incident.”
Brenda Orelus founded Krew Konnect in 2015. It’s a social club for aviation professionals, she launched to improve their mental health and wellness. With almost 10 years in the game, she has some advice for passengers.
“My main message to travelers is that you can’t love to travel and disrespect your flight crew. It doesn’t go hand-in-hand.”
“If you love wanderlust, if you love to travel, you have to respect your flight attendant. Everything we say is not because it’s our personal preference. We get a $10,000 fine that we have to pay out of pocket if we don’t do the safety checks. We don’t have an autonomous job where a supervisor is checking us so, how do you think they monitor us? They send the FAA onboard unannounced, to watching us. We can get a fine for something as simple as not telling you to put your bag in front of you.”
0 To 100: Simple Things Turning Physical
“I think there’s a lack of restraint. Before the pandemic, I felt people tried to be on their best behavior on the plane, but I think now, with stress in their personal life and course, the pandemic, people are just on edge.”
“Two months into the pandemic, I went on maternity leave and within my circle of aviation friends, they’re saying things are just getting out of control.”
“One of my friends witnessed a fistfight between two men, in which she was caught up in the mix. I’ve seen petty arguments, but I never witnessed a physical altercation on the plane, and that seems to be what’s going on sometimes in this climate. People are actually taking it further and putting their hands on each other.”
“I also just recently saw a video shared of a lady verbally assaulting and cursing at the flight attendant in her face. It’s disheartening, to say the least.”
“Lately, it seems like there’s a lot of aggression and simple things turning into physical altercations.”
Lorelle Sherman has served as a flight attendant for four years. She wants people to not only pack their patience but also keep in mind that flight attendants are human, too.
“This job it portrays like it’s glamorous and there are glamorous parts of it, but a lot of flight attendants are fighting their own battles. A lot of us feel lonely sometimes on layovers, a lot of us are working out of different cities, so we’re homesick, and we’re away from our families up to three days out of the week.”
“Just having a little bit more compassion and being more mindful of how you’re conducting yourself on the plane would just make the atmosphere a lot more pleasant and would also allow us to return to normal a lot faster.”
“In remembering that flight attendants are people, remember we don’t like to be poked if you need our attention, we don’t want to be dealing with altercations and fights. We’re just people trying to facilitate getting you to your destination.”
“A lot of us love our job and for us to keep loving our job, we really depend on the passengers.”