Airlines and Problematic Passengers

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Airlines today have taken a beating from its passengers, and it all started months ago when a passenger videoed a doctor being dragged off a plane. Granted, something like that should have never taken place, nor should other people video acts of others without permission, but currently… it’s happening all over the world. The problem with this picture is that it has set off a chain of events, mostly of disgruntled passengers which want to engage in a confrontation with the flight crew. I find it disturbing.  According to the Dept. of Transportation, airline complaints have increased by 56% since the passenger was taken off that United Airlines flight. Then there was the lady with the baby and her stroller problem, which quite frankly…she was in the wrong. Most passengers know that strollers are taken down the jet bridge and left for the baggage handlers, and as you approach the gate agent you are told specifically what to do, as it cannot go down the aisle of an aircraft. Oh she shed tears, which most likely stressed the baby, so it began to cry. Meanwhile, a first class passenger decides to video the event; what’s new, right?

Today, many passengers feel like they are always in the right, but I don’t. This past April, the doctor being dragged off was clearly wronged, but as for the multiple other stories I’ve heard…sorry, that sounds like people trying to dig into airline pockets. I was an airline employee and have worked in multiple fields, from baggage to the ticket counter, gate, lost bags and later became a flight attendant; I loved my jobs but wasn’t always treated kindly by passengers. You don’t get to hear the airline employees’ side, and that’s because they have a job to do in the public eye. I’ve worked the counter when flights were delayed due to weather, which is an act of God, no one has control in this situation, but not all passengers take kindly to being rebooked. In fact, they can get downright rude and disrespectful, but as an employee you just stand there and take it with a smile. I have many stories of passengers that aren’t great, and with the way the world is today, I envy those that continue to try and do their best in the Industry. The unruly passengers today, like the lady who put her bare feet up on the armrest of a Jet Blue flight this past month, “where on earth are your manners!?” It’s simply out of control, and while passengers feel it’s alright to yell at their flight crew, think again; maybe it’s time to think of ‘other’ transportation since behavior is an issue. There are a lot of stories the public will never know, and the employees will continue to try their best to solve customer problems. Working in the industry has become stressful for many, and my heart goes out to them. I’ll never forget after 9/11, people for the most part became more caring and mindful of others, but there were still those who couldn’t help themselves; like the man who demanded another cocktail and became verbally abusive to the attendant. It was only a couple of weeks in the air since that tragic day, so being fresh in the attendants mind she stood her ground and told him to sit down and relax, as she was there to save his a*# , not serve it! The plane rumbled with clapping and cheers for her, but sadly she decided to end her career, as the stress was building and continues to do so.

People today (all ages & gender) that choose to travel by plane need to be kinder, stop pushing, shoving and lying so you can be the first on or off. There are many dishonest passengers who feel they need a wheelchair (yet don’t use one anywhere else), so they’re able to get first dibs on a seat or an overhead bin space. I see it every time I fly, and yes… many are older, yet know it’s dishonest. I usually witness them miraculously walk away from their wheelchair to get food and use the rest room without any issues, then sit back into the wheelchair so they can approach the aircraft first. People need to show compassion, and be truthful when it comes to boarding time. Everyone would like to board in a timely and peaceful manner. So next time you decide to fly, please think about your flight crews. They spend days away from their loved ones and are trained to save you in the event of a crash landing or possible terrorist threat, and they willingly do this, to the best of their mental and physical abilities. All of the airlines deserve some respect, as they take all ‘life’ seriously; all day …every day…365 days a year…they never stop.

Make your week count.

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