Protecting a Company’s Reputation With Consumer Issues
Recently, during a flight from Philadelphia to Miami, a passenger on a Frontier Airlines flight had to be duct-taped to his seat. This is because he allegedly groped two flight attendants and tried to go after a third one. News outlets obtained a cell phone video from another passenger on the same flight, where the passenger could be seen shouting various profanities while in his seat.
He also claimed that his parents were worth over $2 million and declared that his grandfather was an attorney. Later on, he also punched one of the male flight attendants that were keeping an eye on him, and at that point, he was duct-taped to his seat by one of the crewmembers for the rest of his flight.
Once the plane finally landed, that passenger was arrested by police on three counts of battery. According to the arrest report, the passenger had spilled a drink on himself during the flight and then had to go to the bathroom to change his clothes. He left the bathroom without his shirt on and then proceeded to wander around the plane for about 15 minutes before he finally ended up groping two of the plane’s flight attendants.
In the aftermath of the entire event, over 40,000 people shared the video on social media platforms, including the passenger himself, stating that he had a dehumanizing experience during his flight and was treated unprofessionally by the flight attendants as well as the other passengers. Frontier Airlines also released a statement saying that the crew aboard the plane was suspended because the passenger in question hadn’t been restrained with the proper restraining procedures.
However, the Association of Flight Attendants released an opposing statement calling on the airline company to support its crew and especially the flight attendants in question. According to the statement from that association, this year, after plenty of flight disruptions, flight attendants have been facing numerous issues with many passengers. In fact, other airlines have also reported an increase in violence against their flight crews, which has resulted in some airline companies not selling alcohol onboard their planes anymore.
One such example was Southwest Airlines, which suspended onboard alcohol sales after a passenger ended up punching a flight attendant in the face and knocking out two teeth. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration has reported over 3000 cases of unruly behavior from passengers this year alone. Furthermore, the administration also announced a zero-tolerance policy for any dangerous or unruly behavior by passengers on flights, including passengers refusing to comply with mask mandates.
According to federal law, aircraft crews are prohibited from threatening to physically assault or actually assaulting other aircraft crew members or anyone else aboard a flight. There are plenty of fines and other repercussions that can result from such situations. Finally, although the airline company proceeded with caution, it could have stated that the airline respected and supported their flight attendants, and the company could have also claimed it would be working with law enforcement to prosecute the passenger who was involved in the incident. This was the ideal course of action that the airline company could have taken with the situation.