As Cabin Crew making decisions based on such issues as passenger behaviour or untoward flight circumstances is crucial to the safety of those on board.
This responsibility to safely is of course the most important part of your job as Crew!
Decisions of this kind can involve the best way to deal with drunk or aggressive passengers – from deciding whether to let them remain on the aircraft for the flight, or working out to how best to confront or interact with them mid-flight.
Cabin Crew have on occasion had to make the call to restrain aggressive or unruly passengers to ensure the safety of the other passengers. This is a last resort, but on the other hand the enclosed environment of an aircraft is no place to take risks!
And it’s often not the type of passenger who you would expect to cause a problem that causes an issue – on Emirates flight EK235 to Chicago earlier this year an elderly and seemingly quiet man had to be restrained on board for dangerous behaviour which resulted in injury to both himself and an Emirates crew member.
Dan Air’s article on Confessions of a Trolley Dolly expresses concern over increasingly worsening passenger behaviour which forces crew to have to make increasingly tougher decisions in the air:
It’s up to the cabin crew to think on their feet and make the decision that’s best for the safety of their passengers and the flight.
Why do some passengers think that it’s ok to get so intoxicated that it becomes physically impossible to walk off an aircraft unaided? Or when even the hardest of landing doesn’t wake them from their vodka-induced coma?
In what other industry is this acceptable? In what other job role is it acceptable to be spoken to like a piece of dirt? We don’t have the luxury of having bouncers to throw these idiots out, or the police just a phone call away. We’re locked in a metal tube, 7 miles high, with no escape. Nowhere to walk away from these difficult and often dangerous situations.
In times of emergency some frankly terrifying decisions have to be made. On the rare occasions of a crash or emergency landing Cabin Crew must use all their training and experience to make decisions to save lives.
The other issue here is with how much to tell the passengers about the reality of the situation – crew have to use their discretion and common sense to avoid all out panic!
In some cases putting a mask over their own fears and making the decision to hide the situation for as long as possible.
“This is perfectly normal”
We have to tell you that. If it’s a strange noise, we may have never of heard it before. If it’s a funny smell, we might never have smelt it. And if it’s really bad turbulence, it’s probably the worst we’ve ever experienced too. But no matter how scared we are, our perfect, pearly white smile NEVER wavers.
Dan Air, ‘The Top Ten Cabin Crew Lies’
In the famous Hudson River landing of US Airways Flight 1549 it was the decisions of the crew that helped get all of the passengers out of the aircraft safely after the incredible landing by Captain Chesley Sullenberger.
Crew member Doreen Welsh had flooding in her section which was rapidly worsening, and her quick-thinking saved lives with her instructing passengers to climb over the seats in front of them to reach an available exit – correctly realising that the water was rising too quickly for them to exit in the usual emergency evacuation manner.
Hopefully most crew will never have to experience such a terrifying and traumatic event during their careers.
But the responsibility for big decisions such as these highlights how important the job of Cabin Crew is, and how safety is and always will be the number one priority!