How Do You Treat Airline Crew?

It is shocking to know that first line staff in Australia attending to emergencies are often abused, physically attacked and risk their lives trying to help.

The lack of personal morals and being under the influence of deranging drugs and Ice may be the reasons behind such behaviour, but it just does not make sense. Police personnel, medics and rescue specialists bear the brunt of anger from ungrateful individuals.

What has been under reported is also the personal risks faced by cabin crew staff working on the thousands of air flights hovering above our skies at any one minute. The age of elegance and privilege flying in the air has long finished with the advent of budget airlines, maximisation of paid passenger capacity and the boom in tourism.

It used to be the highest opportunity in the service industry to be a uniformed steward or stewardess working to comfort airline passengers. There was a high expectation of standards from both passengers and airline crew in their interaction. Although air crew members are mostly still spick and span in their wardrobe and work behaviour, passenger quality can deteriorate in several respects.

Air passengers tend to dress down these days in a more casual world. Don't even think of customers on cruise ships and train services. At the same time, rhe service expectations of many passengers have increased. Do we blame the airline companies for such developments? In an increasingly crowded field, there is pressure on airlines to differentiate on several fronts - and cabin crew service is a significant one.

Passengers see the crew, literally, as the persona of the airline. They dish out the food and alcohol, resolve issues arising when individual passengers need to store too many hand luggage items and have to play supporter and referee when there are disputes between passengers. Some passengers demand that cabin crew are house help, waiters, girl friends, boy friends, nannies, tech specialists, comforters, conversation buddies, nurses, barmen, butlers and restaurant staff - all at once.

Confronting incidents as being spilled by drinks and food can lead to things bigger than they are. And not just by serving staff. Many have come across episodes of air crew being thrown things, verbally abused by drunken passengers and being accused of rudeness. The aim of a flight is to get from Point A to Point B, you may think - but it is no more, as the hype builds up with too many cabin crew members and passengers trying to cope with the negative effects of flying across too many time zones, being cooped up in essentially tight spaces and having to fly too often.


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