Some flight attendants may be receiving training in hand-to-hand combat due to an increase in violent incidents with rowdy customers on planes.
The majority of the fights are caused by passengers who refuse to follow federal mask regulations.
According to travel expert Peter Greenberg, “Those incidents…are the highest and most concentrated number that we’ve ever seen — over 3,000. Over 1,900 of those 3,000 were because people refuse to wear masks.”
Aside from the pandemic-related tensions, Greenberg claims that alcohol has also played a role in the violence.
He said, “Here’s the interesting development, in a major part of those cases, what was the contributing factor? Alcohol. So, you have passengers drunk, already on the plane, and at altitude, gee, what can go wrong? Well, everything can go wrong.”
According to Andrew Feldman, a spokesperson for the Association of Flight Attendants, breaking up fights has unfortunately become an additional aspect of flight attendants’ jobs. He claims that following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he began receiving instruction on subduing an angry passenger.
“We actually think [self-defense training] should be mandatory right now,” Feldman told NewsNationNow, “They’re voluntary, but we do think they should be mandatory. And look, they’re coming back right at the right time because we are seeing unprecedented levels of unruly passengers in the air.”
Jennifer Cassetta, a self-defense instructor, argues that while hand-to-hand combat is a viable option, it should not be the first.
“Practicing situational awareness, being able to set boundaries and communicate them powerfully, de-escalate — if possible. Then the physical self-defense comes in,” said Cassetta