Tricky situations that flight attendants have to deal with. Part 1: Passengers.

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Published: 21st April 2010
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Working as a flight attendant can generate some fairly sticky situations that only a true professional who can work under pressure will be able to resolve. There are a whole range situations that can arise during the course of a flight, especially if passengers have experienced a significant amount of delays or stress during their journey. Passengers can get annoyed for a whole host of different reasons and some of them aren't directly the result of staff incapability.

Violence on board

Anger and irritation can be fuelled further by being cooped up in an aircraft for several hours. Some passengers can make some very unrealistic demands and when flight attendants can't meet their needs the situation can deteriorate. Flight attendants should not have to deal with aggressive behaviour and any sign of violence is dealt with as soon as the plane lands. Staff can have police waiting for an aggressive passenger, ready to arrest them as soon as they land.

Abusive passengers

This problem is very much related to violence on board, however there can be other ways in which passengers can cause problems. They can be verbally abusive to staff and cause very uncomfortable situations for both passengers and staff. Moreover, they can also be abusive towards other passengers which is an equally hard situation to deal with.

Drunken passengers

It is very hard to control this problem because passengers are usually allowed to drink in the airport before their flight and sometimes even on board. Flight attendants can refuse to serve a passenger alcohol if they are displaying drunken or aggressive behaviour. Drunken passengers will also be firmly dealt with if they cause discomfort to other passengers on the plane.

Unwell passengers

Passengers displaying signs of minor illness or distress on board an airplane should be assisted by flight attendants whose aim is to make them as comfortable as possible. It is common for passengers to get feel sick, suffer problems with their ears and feel a little strange on board an aircraft. This can be due to things like turbulence, tiredness and feeling slightly claustrophobic on board.

On rare occasions a flight attendant might have to deal with an emergency situation where the passenger health has deteriorate so much that it could be fatal. The staff on board must stay as calm as possible and allow any doctors on board to try to help the situation. There are certain first aid procedures in place for staff to follow in this situation, but they have limited options until the plane can find a suitable landing place.

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