Home TIPS Tip: What to do when a passenger flips out near you?
Tip: What to do when a passenger flips out near you? PDF Print E-mail

Cartoon of angry man

Flying on commercial airlines seems to be getting more stressful all the time. Name any complaint and every passenger these days can gripe about a personal occasion when it happened.

However, there are times when passengers go beyond angripes, and actually put themselves and others in danger by losing control. Something makes people to snap in flight, and we seem to see about it in the news almost every day.

Recently   cite example an unruly passenger on a flight bound for Amsterdam forced pilots to return the plane to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport shortly after take-off. So, what do you do when you see the person in the next seat begin to act crazy and potentially violent. Here are some rules any flight crew member would advise:

1. If you’re sure the rant hasn’t yet escalated to potential violance, and the seatmate is someone you know and traveling with you, try to calm the person down. Don’t argue, and use soothing words. Maybe a drink served by the attendant and some soothing words from her/him can help.

2. If your seatmate is a stranger, don’t attempt to argue or calm down the situation. If you feel the complainer is losing control, quietly get up, go to the back of the aircraft and tell an attendant quietly you suspect your seatmate may get violent. It would also be best for your own safety if you then requested another seat, and let the crew deal with the disruptive person.

3. If the person threatens or begins to abuse you, don’t fight back, no matter if you believe you can subdue the troublemaker. Get away from your seat and let the flight crew deal with it.

Flying today can be a very stressful experience, and there are angry, sometimes drunk and disruptive people on flights. However, always remember that air safety includes protecting yours at all times.

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