Has it really come to this?

Flight attendants are taking self-defense classes in order to deal with passengers who become unruly and violent, often over the issue of wearing masks.

Is martial arts training going to be part of the orientation program for new employees? Where else are we going to see this trend? Teachers? Bus drivers? Shop assistants? Hospitality workers? Is any job where one has to deal with the public now becoming a potential physical conflict zone?



  1. blf says

    Ejection seats.

    More seriously, teh loons (the arsehole passengers, not the flight attendants) should be put on the (inter-)national “no fly list”, not just the individual airline’s list. (Below is one way to deal with loony flight attendants.)

    Vaguely related — the following is a reconstructed cross-post from PZ’s current [Pandemic and Political Madness] Infinite Thread:

    Delta (ironically) Airlines is getting serious about the genocidalists and biological war criminals, Delta Airlines to impose $200 monthly fee on unvaccinated employees:

    […] CEO Ed Bastian announced that unvaccinated employees enrolled in Delta’s account-based healthcare plan will be subject to a $200 monthly surcharge starting 1 November.

    “The average hospital stay for Covid-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person. This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,” Bastian wrote.

    Starting 12 September, any US employee who is not fully vaccinated will be required to take a Covid test each week. Additionally, starting from 30 September, Delta’s Covid pay protection will be provided only to fully vaccinated individuals who experience breakthrough infections.

    Currently, 75% of Delta staff are vaccinated. The airline has also partnered with the state of Georgia to operate the state’s largest mass vaccination site at the Delta Flight Museum, where approximately 35% of Georgia’s mass vaccination doses were administered to residents.

    “While we can be proud of our 75% vaccination rate, the aggressiveness of the variant means we need to get many more of our people vaccinated, and as close to 100% as possible,” Bastian added […]

    Earlier this month, United Airlines announced that it will require its US employees to be vaccinated, making it the first large airline to mandate vaccines for its employees.

    As quoted, it’s perhaps unfortunate Mr Bastian only(?) highlighted the financial cost to the company. I do understand why that was cited — and it’s perhaps useful that it was (as people have been noting, in the States the financial costs to individuals, etc., of a serious or fatal case of Covid-19 is astronomical), but it should not have been the only(?) reason cited. And it’s good to see a fully-vaccinated individual who suffers a “breakthrough” case will not be penalised, which seems like a very very positive step. (I have no idea how the airline is dealing with people who have a legitimate medical reason precluding vaccination, but these statements suggest they could be handling those (fortunately rare) cases sensibly.)

    The quoted 75% vaccinate rate is impressive. (For comparison, here in France, it’s a bit less, just over 72% (of those eligible, so the numbers are probably very comparable).) Congratulations to Delta (the airline, not the virus variant) and those responsible 75%.

  2. Bruce says

    Flight attendants shouldn’t use self defense. They should just retreat and let crazy people attack other passengers or bang on the cockpit door the whole flight. Or, as least I think that’s the new no-duct-tape policy from the airlines.

  3. JM says

    I’m more surprised that the air lines didn’t already subsidize defense classes. Other businesses that have to deal with this sort of mess keep some bouncers and possibly armed guards around. Airlines don’t want to do that because it would cost a lot of money to fly a bouncer/air marshal around on flights.

    I really don’t know what is going on with violent outbreaks in general. The anti-maskers are going totally overboard but it’s more then that. Some of it seems like the crazy that should have been in 2020 was just put on a self and left to age for a year.

  4. OverlappingMagisteria says

    I was a High School teacher around 13 years ago and we had a brief self-defense session before school started. So unfortunately this is not new. I never had to use it fortunately.

  5. lorn says

    Oh please, it always was that, for everyone, everywhere.
    Yes, there was often a thin veneer of civility and expected good behavior cast over every day life but the potential for conflict and violence was always there.

    This is one of the secrets of Donald Trump. He could often get a payoff by going into a situation where everyone is expecting good behavior and cause discord. He would stir up anger and resentment, disrupt normal business, claim to be the only one to calm things down, and demand a payoff. A trick he would use was to be able to take over what was often considered a minor part of the deal: typically maintenance.

    He would then calm things down for a time but later stir things up again. Typically in a more under the table manner. This was possible because as a part of the deal now he had direct private lines to all the other parties. This makes the deal drag out. Of course the property still has to be maintained so he still gets paid. If or when the deal falls through there is sure to be legal action which will take years to settle. Meanwhile his organization still gets paid every month.

    I’ve seen people disrupt a restaurant so they could get free food. I’ve seen a woman who clearly was returning a dress she wore get the return, an apology, and additional store credit, by raising a stink about discrimination that was also clearly not present. Taking insult, playing at being offended, lying, escalating and never backing down or apologizing has gone from the rare grifter to mainstream.

    As shown, it may not be the best tactic on a commercial airliner, but, as Donald Trump has shown, there are profits to be had by being an ass.

    Consider the change in politics. Fifty years ago a presidential speech in front of congress was a serious thing with protocols and decorum. None would consider staging a disruption. But now shouting at a president “You lie” in the middle a speech is part of a congressional reelection strategy and a pre-planned conservative media strategy.

    People used to dress up to fly.

  6. says

    Training for violence is probably the only rational response I have seen from humans, regarding climate change. After all, the capitalists are preparing to defend themselves violently -- ask yourself “from whom?”

  7. Holms says

    Total Tangent Time:
    blf, why do you call it ironic that Delta Airlines is the one taking this step?

  8. garnetstar says

    @6, you are correct, it was Trump. Not exactly, I think, in what you said. Trump’s utter selfishness and sociopathy modeled to his followers a method of disruption-to-get-your-way (as you say), but his policies and entire movement also validated his followers own self-regarding and entitled impulses, leading to these violent assertion of privilege.

    Their entire world view is now based on his political policy of Me First, selfishness is good, you get anything you want no matter whom it harms and are entitled to violently demand it.

    The thing is, at 35,000 feet, this sort of thing is very dangerous. Yes, such peope should be on all airlines’ no-fly list. I’ll bet that citizens of other countries aren’t acting out as much as Americans are, as they’ve not been corrupted by Trump.

    And yeah, stiff monetary penalites for the willfully unvaxxed are needed. And, I suppose that armed police on flights is a lot worse than well-trained flight attendants. But, it may come to that.

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    Holms @ # 9: …why do you call it ironic that Delta Airlines is the one taking this step?

    What’s the name of the current dominant SARS-CoV-2 strain?

  10. Holms says

    Didn’t say it did. But when I asked for the ironic element, and all you did was point to the coincidence.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    Holms @ # 14 -- Alas, no irony yet smelted on this planet survives deliberate obtuseness.

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