Unruly passengers are at an all-time high, so along with learning to serving caviar and bubbly, flight attendants are now training in self-defense as well.

Image used for representation only. Right image via Instagram @demibagby


Not too long ago, Southwest Airlines announced that they were pausing alcohol sales after a flight attendant was physically assaulted in-flight by an intoxicated passenger. A succession of news stories about unruly passengers causing trouble in the air during this recent travel surge caused American Airlines to ban alcohol sales in its economy cabin this summer. Flight attendants are certainly not interested in babysitting inebriated adults who exhibit unruly behavior at 40,000ft. CNN reports that “more than 100 incidents [of unruly passengers] were reported to the Federal Aviation Administration in the last week — for a total of more than 3,600 so far this year.”

Via – CNN

A simple solution is offered by The TSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security- self-defense courses! The program will train hundreds of flight attendants this summer. The Federal Air Marshal Service teaches the one-day course instructing flight attendants to punch and even eye-poke using a fight mannequin. They will be taught how to strike, stomp and subdue a violent attacker and a set of de-escalation techniques to handle difficult passengers who won’t stow a tray table or who insist an oversize suitcase fit in the bin last time. Carrie, a flight attendant who took the class, said, “You get on a plane full of people, and some of them are not very happy, and you never know what’s going to happen. It’s just more imperative that we take care of ourselves and take care of our passengers because people are anxious, and they’re upset. They’re frustrated, and sometimes that comes out inappropriately.”

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Delta Airlines air hostesses.

Of the 5,000 attendants polled across 30 airlines, 85 percent said they had dealt with unruly passengers. Mask compliance and alcohol came across as the most common of the reasons for the increasing in-air aggression. Some social media users poked fun at the requirement, saying, ‘You will remain seated with your seatbelt fastened. Or else’. Others were more sympathetic to flight attendants; “The fact that this is even necessary is crazy,” said one follower. Another user made a suggestion, “Airlines should be sacrificing a few seats to air marshals to protect their staff, not expecting staff to have to defend themselves like this.”

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