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Politics Opinion: Why the explosion in unruly air passengers?

04:15  14 june  2021
04:15  14 june  2021 Source:   cnn.com

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Dean Obeidallah writes that it's possible that the Federal Aviation Administration has recorded approximately 2,900 incidents of unruly behavior by passengers this year because Covid-19 restrictions have made us less civil. "But one other fact about these incidents tells us there may be something else likely contributing to the aggression: Trumpism.".

Air travel can be hard work, whether it's navigating super-long security lines, losing the seat lottery and ending up jammed in the middle of the row, or finding yourself on a plane grounded on the runway, delayed and unmoving for the foreseeable future. In these stress-inducing scenarios, most of In the photo above, actors play out a disruptive scenario as part of training carried out by the aviation security company Green Light. Air rage is a term used for disruptive and unruly passenger behavior, ranging from snapping at the flight attendant, refusing to sit down, brawling with another passenger and even

It feels as if every day we read about another disorderly passenger on a commercial flight. But in reality, the numbers are even worse than that. Since January, the Federal Aviation Administration recorded approximately 2,900 reports of "unruly behavior by passengers" -- which comes out to almost 18 incidents per day.

a car on display: unruly airplane passengers muntean pkg vpx_00013701.png © Provided by CNN unruly airplane passengers muntean pkg vpx_00013701.png

For perspective, this is nearly 20 times higher than what's normally recorded in an entire year. As the head of one of the flight attendants unions recently explained, there has been a "constant combative attitude" by some passengers that has alarmingly led to flight attendants being attacked and injured. Just last month, a passenger punched a Southwest flight attendant in the face, knocking out two of her teeth.

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Air rage is a term used for disruptive and unruly airline passenger behavior, ranging from snapping at the flight attendant to brawling with another passenger . CNN Travel asks: Are things getting worse? (CNN) — Air travel can be hard work, whether it's navigating super-long security lines, losing the seat lottery and ending up jammed in the middle of the row, or finding yourself on a plane grounded on the runway, delayed and unmoving for the foreseeable future. In these stress-inducing scenarios, most of us might plug in our headphones and get lost in a podcast or movie -- or simply close our eyes and try

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) defines passengers as ‘ unruly ’ and ‘disruptive’ if they “fail to respect the rules of conduct on board aircraft or to follow the instructions of crew members, thereby disturbing good order and discipline on board and compromising safety.” While unruly passengers are certainly not a new phenomenon, cases related to onboard accidents have undoubtedly been on the rise. “What happens generally in the street is now happening on-board aircraft,” note members of ICAO’s Legal Affairs and External Relations Bureau, specifying that often

Are we just becoming more brutish as a people? Has the isolation caused by Covid-19 restrictions made us less civil? Perhaps. But one other fact about these incidents tells us there may be something else likely contributing to the aggression: Trumpism.

As the FAA has reported, of the 2,900 incidents of unruliness, about 2,200 of those reports involved passengers "refusing to comply with the federal facemask mandate."

Who was it who publicly mocked people for wearing masks? Oh yeah, Donald Trump. There are numerous examples of the former president publicly ridiculing people for masking up after the US Centers for Disease Control announced guidelines in April 2020 urging us all to wear them to prevent the spread of the virus. In May 2020, Trump ridiculed a reporter during a press conference for wearing a mask, claiming the reporter was only doing so "to be politically correct." Trump also mocked then-candidate Joe Biden for modeling responsible behavior by wearing a mask in public. Trump even slammed Fox News Laura Ingraham at an October 2020 campaign rally for wearing a mask, accusing her of "being very politically correct."

Delta passengers and crew subdue unruly passenger on Atlanta-bound flight

  Delta passengers and crew subdue unruly passenger on Atlanta-bound flight An unruly passenger forced a Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta to land in Oklahoma City on Friday night, the airline said. © Google Crew members and passengers of Delta Flight 1730 subdued the man after he assaulted two flight attendants and, according to Oklahoma City police, said he was "going to take the plane down." It was the second Delta flight diverted because of a disruptive passenger in as many days.

If that doesn’t work, the unruly passenger will get their own meeting with the pilot or the co-pilot who will lay down the law to the passenger in no uncertain terms. This is usually a quiet, but firm, discussion and no one smiling. That nearly always makes the person realize that the situation is no longer the lark that they. Lifting the shades on the windows during take-off and landing might seem like a trivial ask to many aeroplane passengers . Some travellers believe that this to prepare them for the jolty landing moment when the wheels hit the concrete below. But experts have now revealed the reasons why it is

Can fellow passengers Sue the unruly passenger for causing them a delay in reaching their destination? What if someone was late to a wedding? Or headed to visit an I'll family member? "This is the captain speaking. We'd like all strong males to the front of the aircraft to handle a problem passenger ."

Dean Obeidallah wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Provided by CNN Dean Obeidallah

It's true that Trump did occasionally make a few -- just a few -- pro-mask comments. But now, even with Trump out of office, some of his most visible supporters have continued their war on face coverings. One of the most despicable has been GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who last month compared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's requirement that members of Congress wear a mask when on the House floor to the Nazis forcing Jews to wear "gold" stars during the Holocaust.

Some GOP governors, like South Dakota's Kristi Noem, made it a badge of honor, deciding not to impose a mask mandate in their states. While not making incendiary comments like Greene, Noem shared a photo in January 2021 of herself in a crowded room of people not wearing masks.

In March, various Idaho GOP elected officials, including the state's lieutenant governor, joined with supporters to publicly burn masks, equating the act to the Boston Tea Party. (How the colonists protesting Britain's tax on tea is related to wearing a mask to protect the health of others is only something the mask burners can explain.) And in early June, Ohio GOP Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who has dubbed himself "Trump's number one ally in Ohio," burned his mask in a video he tweeted out with the word "freedom."

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The unruly passengers in the other two flights were simply let off the plane. It's also a major inconvenience for other passengers . Joanna Thatcher, who was aboard a Delta flight on Monday that diverted to Jacksonville, said she was shocked that one person's outburst was enough to land the plane. "It's ridiculous that one passenger inconvenienced 100-something other passengers and cost the airline thousands of dollars, and she gets to walk away without being fined," Thatcher said.

Passengers said oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling and they were instructed to brace for impact, leaving some in tears, while others shouted encouragement. In a recording of conversations between the cockpit and air traffic controllers, the captain, Tammie Jo Shults, reported that there was a hole in the plane and “someone went out”. David Gleave, an aviation safety investigator based at Loughborough University described the incident as a “completely freak event”, caused by an unlikely series of coincidences, each of which would have to be examined in detail. “ Why did the engine fail?

This is not about freedom. It's about selfishness. Trumpism is many things from White nationalism to cruelty, but it's also a celebration of a toxic form of egotism. Wearing a mask has been about protecting others from the virus, especially given that asymptomatic people can carry and spread the disease. As the CDC guidelines explained, "Masks work best when everyone wears one." But that means nothing to those who have no regard for the health of their fellow Americans.

It's impossible to know with certainty how many of the 2,200 incidents of passengers becoming unruly over masks are Trump supporters. What is clear is that President Joe Biden has set an example, repeatedly urging people to wear masks and doing so himself until the CDC announced in May that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to do so in certain situations.

We also know that some who have caused in-flight disturbances when asked to wear masks are self-identified Trump supporters For example, in January two women wearing pro-Trump hats were asked to leave the plane after refusing to put on masks. One of them directed the n-word a several times at a Black passenger as she left the cabin.

Off-duty flight attendant allegedly choked a crew member and claimed to be seated next to a terrorist before being subdued, police report says

  Off-duty flight attendant allegedly choked a crew member and claimed to be seated next to a terrorist before being subdued, police report says Stephon Jamar Duncan, 34, of Atlanta, was identified as the unruly flight attendant.Authorities on Monday identified the off-duty Delta Air Lines flight attendant who was accused of assaulting two crew members before being subdued on an Atlanta-bound flight that was forced to land in Oklahoma City.

In October, another Trump supporter was escorted off a flight for refusing the flight attendant's repeated request to put his mask over his mouth and nose—but he had no problem wearing his pro-Trump hat. And in April, GOP Alaska State Sen. Lora Reinbold was banned indefinitely from Alaska Airlines for "her continued refusal" to comply with airline employees requests that she wear a mask.

Even beyond mask incidents, other self-professed Trump supporters in January projected a large Trump logo on the interior of the airplane's cabin mid-flight while some shouted obscenities at other passengers who objected.

Disturbingly, we can likely expect more incidents involving anti-maskers on planes given that the Transportation Security Administration recently extended the face mask requirement at airports and on board commercial aircraft through September 13.

These mask haters should know that the penalty for those who engage in unruly behavior could be far more than being just escorted off a flight. The FAA's "zero-tolerance" policy for such conduct has resulted in the agency seeking fines of $9,000 to $15,000 against individual passengers.

The question is, will the risk of hefty fines trump the selfishness inspired by Trumpism? We can only hope so for the safety of the flight crews and fellow passengers. But despite Trump no longer being in the White House, we can expect we will be dealing with the lingering toxicity of his legacy for the near future — if not longer.

Airline groups ask DOJ to help crack down on violent passengers .
Organizations representing airlines and their workers sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday asking him to help crack down on violent passengers amid a string of confrontational incidents.The letter was sent by 10 different groups, NBC News reports, including Airlines for America, Allied Pilots Association, Transport Workers Union of America and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.The organizations asked thatThe letter was sent by 10 different groups, NBC News reports, including Airlines for America, Allied Pilots Association, Transport Workers Union of America and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

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