Local News

Airline Workers Say Air Rage Has Become A Serious Problem

Posted July 7, 2001

— While you may be frustrated with air travel, flight attendants may be even more so. They warn airlines and the government are not doing enough to address air rage.

A report card released by a flight attendants union gave the federal government and airlines F's for what they are doing to fight air rage.

"I've been called several names, I've been attacked across the counter," says Marion Egler, a customer service agent at RDU.

Bad weather, too many bags, and a couple of kids can turn customers into tyrants.

"I guess you have to understand that they aren't doing this personally to you, calling you names. It's just emotional stress that comes out at you in the heat of the moment," says Egler.

Most customers are cool, but in the air, sometimes passengers fly off the handle. A woman was videotaped last year when she became enraged on a United Airlines jet, delaying the flight.

Flight attendants used stories like these Friday in Washington to try to convince airlines and the federal government to do more to stop air rage and to protect employees.

"If the airlines won't voluntarily take the actions they need to do, then the FAA needs to step up to the plate and simply do their job," says one flight attendant.

Another flight attendant who has been in the business for 36 years says she is glad the union is taking a stand, but she is not optimistic that the situation will change.

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