Cabin pressure reaches new high

October 21, 2009

An increasing number of air passengers are finding themselves in hot water and even behind bars as a result of bizarre behaviour from drunkenly abusing cabin crew, sparking bomb scares and starting fights with fellow travellers.
But what causes seemingly ordinary people to lose the plot once the seatbelt sign is lit?
Dr Roghy McCarthy is Dubai-based psychologist who helps train cabin crew on how to deal with irate cust-omers as well as treating potential passengers with a fear of flying.
She said: “Unfortunately, some people do not respect the career of the ladies and men who are cabin crew and they take advantage of them. Some people think that because they paid for their seat, they own the crew as well and that can make them have a bad attitude. Also, some people think their holiday starts as soon as they step on the plane and that normal rules of behaviour don’t apply.”
One Dubai-based air stewardess agrees that a feeling of superiority is often at the root of many incidents of air rage. “They think you are their servants and tell you do this and do that,” she said. “Once a man in business class threw his pillow in my face because he didn’t get his headset straight away.”
This month has seen several high-profile examples of cabin fever hit the headlines.
And Air Indian crew on a flight from Sharjah to Delhi showed even the staff are not immune to fraying tempers after a scuffle broke out between the pilot and his crew.
McCarthy also says anxiety is a catalyst for aggression often compounded by alcohol.
“Some people have a fear of flying but cover it up and sometimes use alcohol to do this,” she said.
The cabin crew member told 7DAYS that they are trained to keep an eye out for people who might be too keen on a tipple. Cabin crew undergo intense training on how to deal with difficult passengers verbally but are also taught to protect themselves.
20/10/09 Zawya

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