The media has recently reported on a number of incidents involving passengers who had to be ejected from airplanes after altercations with flight attendants. However, some safety experts fear that these kinds of unruly, and sometimes even violent confrontations between passengers and staff members could possibly be detrimental to the safety of everybody on the airplane.
According to Time magazine, which recently ran a report on the flight safety risks involving such confrontations on planes, flight attendants now complain that they are often forced to ignore severe safety violations like failing to wear seatbelts, improperly placed bags, and other violations in order to avoid confrontations. Many flight attendants fear a confrontation spreading virally on social media via cell phone footage. Such coverage almost always reflects very poorly on the employee, who may be at risk of having his or her employment status changed as a result of the negative publicity the airline suffers after a confrontation broadcast on Facebook.
According flight attendants, since the recent social media footage spread of a passenger being violently evicted from a United Airlines flight bleeding and bruised, they’ve noticed a significant change in passenger attitudes. Passengers are much more likely to question instructions by flight attendants, and are much more abrasive and prone to becoming confrontational when addressed by staff.