Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
This past week’s SWAG Saturday winner asked the above question and more. Atif asked me:
“Do you have advice on how to deal with fellow passengers who are being inconsiderate? What is the best way to get them to modify their behavior?”
Since Atif won I think it would only be considerate to address his questions and concerns this week with Rookie Wednesday.
Most of us remember the total nut job who ended up needing “CPRS” that is “Crazy Passenger Restraint System” to be applied a.k.a. green duct tape to calm him down. Truly an effective means of quelling an unruly passenger in coach, but I see a few problems with CPRS implementation.
Notice in the photo that the passenger has his own row of seats. Normally this would be an upgrade to get 3 seats to yourself. Next, they left his glasses on and he can now for free enjoy the IFE from across the row (did he pay for that privilege I ask you)? Then there are a few other bits like the fact that the passenger behind the CPRS guy cannot now fold down their tray table for the remainder of the flight – most frustrating. Lastly he seems to be fully reclined; enjoying a reclined seat should not be a perk of CPRS passengers or is it just me?
OK there is a reason I don’t do stand up comedy for a living so on to actually answering the questions from Atif as they have merit. Personally I think flying is safer than ever. I think most American flyers are willing to do what it takes to keep a cabin safe and assist flight crews. I am an attentive flyer as I have shown in the past much to the dismay of some European readers who took umbrage to my calling out my fellow flyers for not reacting at all. I pity anyone who is dumb enough to try anything on a US flight nowadays.
First, take a minute to objectively evaluate the problem. Remember you are using a form of public transportation not a private jet. If your complaint is in regard to the many things we all must simply accept as part and parcel of 21st century travel, then let it go and be the bigger person. Also included in your re-evaluation of the problem should be flight time (like when some jerk takes up your foot space on a CJR), not only from the perspective of putting up with whatever it is, but of the real possibility of having to continue putting up with it on top of having now irritated the offender for the entire length of the flight.
Next, I would never and do not encourage the use of force. FAM or federal air marshals are on many flights (more than you know) and many are armed and will take charge when needed. If speaking calmly to your seat mate about your request has no impact or is not really possible and minor things are going on, the simplest and safest thing to do is simply when you can, get up and go privately talk to the FA about what is happening. Worst case they can allow you to move to another seat discreetly. Other times they may, with you say in the lavatory or in the galley waiting, speak to the passenger. This can have a profound effect on most (or at least it should).
What if things don’t get better? A passenger does NOT want to see the captain come out to talk to them. Unless he is smiling and thanking you for being a loyal Delta customer you may find the rest of your day/week/month/life ruined as you may be greeted, not by a Porsche on landing, but a police car and get “3 hots and a cot” at the arrival city’s jail. Or even worse, divert to another city and end up on CNN as the lead story.
These are clearly extremes and most can have their behavior “modified” by the FA simply chatting to them.
What other situations could arise. Pre-boarding if you see something that is not good – GO TELL SOMEONE. The plane will leave on time and the passenger in question will be accommodated on a later flight or maybe not at all. On the ground is much better than in the air!
So to wrap this up, there should be very, very, very few times YOU are personally involved. Delta staff is trained and as they say “safety is their primary concern”. Let them do what they need to do so you can enjoy your Delta travel experience. – René
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