Home TIPS What To Do When Another Passenger Gets Violent
What To Do When Another Passenger Gets Violent PDF Print E-mail

There seems to be a news item almost daily about angry incidents aboard flights. It could be caused by drugs, booze or just frustration from the ever-increasing trauma of air travel. For a senior with limited physical strength and mobility, it can be a frightening, potentially dangerous situation.

Some sage advice we’ve received from a savvy retired flight attendant may help if you find yourself caught up in an in-air disturbance. First, when you’re aware that a disruption has started, usually loud arguments with flight attendants or fellow passengers, do absolutely nothing for a moment. First, determine where it’s happening, especially if it’s in a seat close to you.

Then, hunker down safely and wait. In almost every case, everything quiets down after just a few seconds. Flight attendants are trained to deal with almost any situation to avoid violence and danger to passengers. That should be the extent of your concern.

However, if the disruption continues, whether close to you or in another part of the compartment, stay in your seat and follow orders of the flight attendant. For your own physical safety, don’t attempt to respond or confront the angry person. You may have been a healthy athlete 30 or 40 years ago, but be realistic about your current age-related physical limits.

The incident may require the pilot to make an unscheduled landing. Of course, you’ll be angry and frustrated. Get past it in efforts to be cooperative with the flight crew and, after landing, officials who may board to make an arrest. Then use your smartphone as soon as possible to make alternative flight plans.

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