Black Flight Crews Reveal Horror Stories With Passengers
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Photo Credit: Image Source

Black Flight Crews Reveal Horror Stories With Passengers

airlines , traveler story
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Dec 3, 2021

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

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“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"

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“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

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“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.” 

The Anti-Maskers Spitting On A Flight Attendant's Show

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“One in particular that comes to mind is the time when we had some ‘anti-maskers’ on our plane recently.
The plane wouldn’t take off because this couple refused to wear their masks.
“We’re at the gate, the main cabin door has been closed already and after a few minutes, we hear the disarm your doors announcement and that the main cabin door is being reopened. The couple was in my view and I got a good look at them: the woman was very mouthy, I couldn’t make out her words exactly, but she didn’t look too happy. The man kept his head down or towards her most of the time, without wearing a mask, of course. He was wearing a shirt that said ‘Admit Nothing, Deny Everything’ with that weird snake design from those ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ signs on the back…yep, one of those.
“So basically, the customer service agent comes on the plane to escort them off, they exit the plane…without masks on. A few minutes later, they re-board the plane, but this time they were both wearing those blue paper-thin masks.
Apparently, they got a ‘talking to’ and were allowed to get back on board, under the condition that they would comply with the mask policy. The main cabin door stayed open.
“That lasted for all of 5 minutes. The next series of events that unfolded happened so fast, but they are for sure worth finishing the story. Not even a millisecond after they sit back down, the woman takes her mask down. I couldn’t get a good view of the man’s face, but I’m almost positive he took his off too. Another flight attendant walked from the front of the plane to the back of the plane, motioning to the rest of us that they had in fact taken off their masks.
“Soon after, the lead flight and the pilot get the customer service agent to come back to the plane to have those two passengers removed. They blatantly refused to comply with the mask policy onboard the aircraft, and they just weren’t deserving of a second chance.  It gets even more interesting though: as the customer service agent gets back on the plane to escort them off, this couple decided that they were not getting back off quietly or pleasantly.
“When they were asked to get up and gather their belongings and told that they would not be traveling on our plane to their destination, they became visibly upset. At first, they refused to get up. After repeated requests for them to exit the plane, the woman snatches off her mask and flings it across the plane; the mask landed in the lap of another passenger (gross, I know). Then, they both get up and start opening overhead bins to gather their things. As they exit the plane, the man then takes off his mask, and he spits on the flight attendant’s shoe!  I mean he deliberately gathered enough saliva, made that nasty noise people make right before they spit, and he just hurls right on top of the flight attendant’s shoes, and just walked off as nothing happened. It happened so fast, but it was still just as gross and disgusting. The woman then goes on to shout to everyone, ‘I’m never flying this airline again!’
Now, we already knew she didn’t have to worry at all about flying with us again because both of them will likely be banned for life. On top of that, wherever they were going, they certainly weren’t going to make it there that day.
“I think the authorities may have even been alerted for them, and quite frankly, they should have been. The man spitting on my fellow flight attendant’s shoe was completely unnecessary and uncalled for. It baffles me that some people have the audacity to cause scenes like this over wearing a mask.
“However, this is an ongoing issue that many of us are dealing with on the planes, like all the time. Passengers are refusing to keep their masks on inflight and at times it is challenging to get them to comply for the duration of the flight. These policies are in place to protect everyone on board, and it is our job to ensure that all passengers are complying with the mask policy.
“Stay safe friends and wear your masks!”

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