31 Aug Flight attendants dealing with difficult passengers
When you become flight attendant, you’ll have to write a lot of flight reports; it is important to know that every unexpected event on board must be reported. Events may happen during flight, or while the airplane is still on ground. For example, when providing first aid, a complete flight report will help the doctors know more about the case afterwards. You must be aware that every single detail is of great importance. Many times reports are written, even if it is only about an insignificant headache.
When flying to Egypt, there are some painkilling medicines, such as Panadol, that should be available on board for these kinds of passengers, who generally suffer headaches ever since embarking. The Egyptians smoke very strong cigarettes; whenever cigarettes are missing, severe headaches lasting one to two hours appear. A good example would be one passenger’s complaint about his carry-on baggage not fitting in the overhead bin. This passenger was constantly yelling, complaining of his headache, insisting on his baggage issue, and appearing considerably irritated by the presence of the flight attendants. His behaviour indicated he had been on drugs.
One day, during boarding, one passenger who was afraid of flying, soon after asking for a medicine to stop her headache pain, fell into a hysterical crisis and started to slap the flight attendant who was trying to calm her down.
Another day, right before landing, a business-class passenger who was seven months pregnant, announced the crew about her headache accompanied by strong abdominal pain. Everyone thought the labour was about to start. After discussing with her, the flight attendants found out she was only experiencing gas pains. She said her doctor gave her medicines, which were left in the hold baggage.
The Chinese passenger – or how to put in danger a whole plane
Another female colleague of mine also went through an extremely dangerous and unhappy experience, during one of her flights:
“I am one of those people who had dealt with many medical incidents throughout their flight attendant careers. Once I had a flight from Doha to Pekin; many of our Chinese passengers were coming from Algeria via Doha. There was one odd passenger who appeared to have his head in the clouds. Although he looked dizzy, he didn’t smell of alcohol. However, I decided to inform the Senior Cabin Crew about it. That passenger hadn’t been eating anything during the flight. But as long as he didn’t disturb anyone, we didn’t give him too much attention.
But just before landing, while all of the passengers were sitting in their seats with the seatbelts fastened, the Chinese passenger suddenly got up, went towards the airplane’s door and tried to open it! I was standing right there, but he didn’t seem to care about my presence. I reacted immediately, asking him to leave and telling him how dangerous this whole thing was. After taking three steps back, he turned again to the door. At that moment, I realized it was no joke. While asking for my colleagues’ help, I found the physical force to grab him by the collar and push him back into his seat. Instantly, I asked him loudly to sit and fasten his seatbelt. We were about to land, so I had just a few seconds to get to my jump seat.
After landing, the passenger had to meet the airport security. Soon afterwards, we understood the reason for his strange behaviour: he had been physically abused in Algeria, and maybe even drugged.”
Lesson learned: flight attendants are captain’s eyes. They must be always attentive, since any insignificant event could be of great importance at an altitude of 10,000 metres.
Good luck to all future flight attendants!