Unruly Passenger Survey Results

Unruly Passenger Survey Results 

July 30, 2021 - “Thank you to all who took part in the unruly passenger survey. The first step to fixing a problem is defining it. We’re going to fix this together.” AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson.

Unruly Passenger Survey ResultsAlmost 5,000 Flight Attendants representing 30 airlines completed AFA’s Unruly Passengers Survey. While the results are no surprise, they are sobering.

85% percent of respondents reported having dealt with at least one unruly passenger so far in 2021. 58% percent reported handling at least five incidents. And a shocking 17% reported a physical confrontation with a passenger.

Whether they escalate to physical confrontation or not, these incidents can be traumatizing. Sixty-one percent of those who experienced unruly passenger behavior reported passengers using sexist, racist and homophobic language.

“This survey confirms what we all know, the vitriol, verbal and physical abuse from a small group of passengers is completely out of control, and is putting other passengers and flight crew at risk. This is not just about masks as some have attempted to claim. There is a lot more going on here and the solutions require a series of actions in coordination across aviation,” said Sara Nelson, President of AFA-CWA. “It is time to make the FAA ‘zero tolerance’ policy permanent, the Department of Justice to utilize existing statute to conduct criminal prosecution, and implement a series of actions proposed by our union to keep problems on the ground and respond effectively in the event of incidents.”

AFA is calling on the FAA and DOJ to protect passengers and crew from disruptive, and verbally and physically abusive travelers. Survey data confirmed that existing measures were failing to address the problem. 71 percent of Flight Attendants who filed incident reports with airline management received no follow-up and a majority did not observe efforts to address the rise in unruly passengers by their employers.

“This is not a ‘new normal’ we are willing to accept,” Nelson continued. “We know the government, airlines, airports, and all stakeholders can take actions together to keep us safe and flying friendly. We will be sharing survey findings with FAA, DOT, TSA, and FBI to help more fully identify the problems and our union’s proposed actions to affect positive change.” Read more >

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