Unruly Passenger Incidents at an All Time High

Unruly Passenger Incidents at an All Time High

June 18, 2021 — Unruly passenger incidents continue to threaten our safety and security at work. The FAA announced on Monday fines for an additional four passengers. There is no doubt that the issue of unruly passengers is at an all time high in the history of our profession and it cannot continue. Our union is working with other unions, lawmakers, the FAA, DOT, and airline management on more that needs to get this under control. 

On Wednesday, in Senate Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies hearing, DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to ensure a zero tolerance policy for unruly passengers onboard aircraft and back up Flight Attendants.

Watch the question and answer between Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), and Secretary Buttigieg.

Some are wondering if lifting the mask mandate in transportation would stop the conflict, but a review of the incidents does not support this. We know, it’s important, however, for you to be armed with an explanation about this safety requirement that we are charged to enforce. These are the key reasons this mandate remains in place through September 13th:

  • Not everyone has access to vaccine including children under 12 and others.
  • Vaccines protect people from serious illness, but vaccinated people can still carry the virus and variants, extending the pandemic. 
  • International and business travel is still not back. We need all travel back to recover fully and that requires confidence that air travel will not continue to spread the virus.  

AFA EAP is always available at 800-424-2406. Additionally, make sure you’re copying in your AFA safety committee on unruly incidents to ensure our union can follow up with the airlines and regulators.

We will be communicating more next week on this issue and launching a platform to collect your experiences to fully assess the problem and help get meaningful support to all crews. 

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