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Electronic Gadgets Are the Main Cause of Inflight Disputes

Flight attendants have reported that the number one cause of disputes with passengers on aircraft is due to the electronic gadgets they bring on board, which they often refuse to turn off when they are told to do so.  Only three months ago, actor Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines flight because he refused to stop playing “Words With Friends.”  However, flight attendants said that this behavior is all too common and they are frustrated.

Thom McDaniel, a flight attendant with Southwest Airlines, said that people are so attached to their devices that they truly question the need to turn them off.  American Airlines flight attendant Kelly Skyles said that the most difficult passengers are the ones who don’t think the rule applies to them or that it’s no big deal.  Most cases of passenger misconduct are about non-compliance with the rules regarding electronic devices.

Airlines have rules that are based on federal laws that allow pilots to turn a plane back to the gates in order to turn passengers off the plane if there is a problem.  This helps avoid potential disputes once in the air.  However, the initial incident is generally not what gets someone kicked off the plane.  No matter what the issue is, be it bad language or the need to put your seat back in its upright position, flight attendants simply ask for passengers to comply.  However, when a passenger argues the issue with the attendant, that is when things get ugly and the passenger is told to leave.

American Airlines flight attendants have reported 1306 incidents of passenger misconduct, most of which did not result in confrontations or the require the intervention of law enforcement.  However, the numbers have be going up for the past three years and the main culprit is the use of electronic devices.  Veda Shook, an Alaska Airlines flight attendant and president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said that there is a lack of awareness as to what the rules are, why there are there, and what the role of the flight attendant is on a flight.

See the original Google News article for more details.

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