Unruly Airline Passengers and Your Safety

wing-221526_1280-300x200The 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.

There are serious problems underlying this scenario. When passengers begin to treat flight attendants as adversaries, and have an acerbic and confrontational relationship with them, they are much less likely to obey the attendants, especially when it comes to safety matters. During an emergency, the flight attendant and his or her instructions may be the only thing protecting passengers. If passengers fail to obey rules, or become violent and confrontational during an emergency, both passengers and attendants might be endangered.

Many passengers think that the primary job of a flight attendant is to serve drinks and roll the beverage cart down the aisle.  That’s not the case at all. The flight attendant’s number one responsibility involves aviation safety. The flight attendant’s main job is to ensure passenger safety, and ensure that all the Federal Aviation Administration’s safety rules are carried out properly when there is a need or in an emergency, thereby ensuring safety.

Flying in an enclosed cabin thousands of miles above the earth is a risky situation at all times. Risks are only increased when passengers and people charged with their safety have negative attitudes towards each other. Airlines have a job to play here too. They must  invest in better training in dealing with these negative passenger attitudes to ensure the safety of everybody on board.

The Indiana aviation accident lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP represent families of people killed or injured while flying the “friendly” skies. This does not just include plane crashes but can also mean injuries sustained with the airlines are unable to control unruly passengers. Contact our firm today if you or a loved one has been injured by the airline or another passenger.