JetBlue ‘Scuffle’ Shows Why Flight Attendants Need Self Defence Training

If it can happen on the ground, it can happen at 40,000ft.

America has seen a surge in unruly passenger behaviour over the last twelve months, much of it centred around a minority of passengers who have been reluctant to wear masks, and then becoming agitated when they are asked to comply with airline rules.

There have also been some other, more off-piste incidents. One woman, for instance decided to spark up on a Spirit Airlines flight, causing uproar in the process. Another story for the books is the man who had a (verbal) sparring match with the woman behind him over the territorial status of a window shade.

Last week news broke of an even scarier incident, involving a man trying to storm the cockpit on a JetBlue flight, as well as allegedly strangling and kicking a flight attendant.

The incident occurred last Wednesday evening. ABC News reports that a flight attendant told the FBI that with just over an hour left in the flight from Boston to San Juan, Puerto Rico, the man tried to place a phone call and “became angry about the call’s unsuccess.”

According to the FBI affidavit, half an hour later the man moved towards the cockpit, shouting in Spanish and Arabic to be shot.

JetBlue interior. Image Credit: CNN

A flight attendant managed to usher the man back into the passenger seating area during which point the unruly passenger allegedly grabbed the flight attendant by the collar and tried to kick them in the chest.

Eventually, he was subdued (with the help of other crew members) and put in flex cuffs. The plane then safely landed at its destination. The man was then taken into custody by authorities.

A sad story – and also one that illustrates why flight attendants live by the maxim ‘if it can happen on the ground, it can happen at 40,000ft‘. This is something flight attendant Kat Kamalani talks about in the below video, where she explains the real reason airline staff always greet you at the door of the plane.

Why flight attendants always greet you when you are entering a plane

It also illustrates why many flight attendants are now receiving self-defence training.

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