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During a United Airlines Memphis-to-Chicago flight last year, a passenger lost his temper and grabbed a flight attendant, then the co-pilot. Several passengers subdued the offender and tied him up with headset cords and plastic handcuffs.
“We’ve noticed a dramatic increase in passenger flight violence over the last five years because more people are flying, planes are more crowded, and service has been cut,” says Jill Gallagher, a spokesperson for the Association of Flight Attendants in Washington, D.C.
While most major airlines say the rise in-flight outburst hasn’t scared off passengers, it’s a serious safety concern. United has implemented a two-hour training program for all employees. The Federal Aviation Administration has even stepped in, initiating the “Interference with Crew Member” program at Honolulu and Los Angeles airports. It will allow swift action, including the immediate arrest of fliers who pose a threat to crew members. The program will expand to LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark airports next year.
Passenger should not interfere with flight attendants when a flier becomes should not interfering with a crew in flight is a federal offense. If possible, move away from the commotion. The International Passenger Association urges you to make a safety complaint to the FAA after you land at 800-322-7873.