Flight attendants have much more authority than just handing out food and drinks throughout the flight. So, one of the stewardesses recalled the serious consequences that may arise if passengers do not follow the instructions of the staff. She spoke about the most important of the rules on a special Reddit forum and warned that tourists could be arrested for violating it.
According to the airline employee, flight attendants not only can provide assistance in an emergency, but also have the right to require passengers to follow special instructions on board, especially when they relate to safety. An anonymous flight attendant using the pseudonym HausOfDarling said on the forum the following: “You can be arrested for disobeying the instructions of the crew. For example, this applies to the “fasten seat belts” lights during takeoff/shower and turbulence.
“If the turbulence is mild at the time of the seat belt order, this does not mean that you can get up and go to the toilet, you are all adults and you can endure five minutes. Yes, I once saw a passenger break his spine for refusing to follow our instructions to stay put before hitting the turbulence,” she added.
In other situations, in case of serious violations or violence, the crew has the right to restrain violent passengers until they land and the police board. The author left this explanation: “We have handcuffs on board, and we will use them if you need to be subdued.”
In addition, a crew member said that she and all flight personnel are trained in self-defense and protecting the cockpit at all costs: “We are trained on how to respond to threats – verbal and physical, bomb threats, suspicious items, dangerous goods, hijackers and other terrorist acts”.
The flight crew may even use items such as duct tape, i.e. tape to protect yourself and other passengers. So, Jeff Price, professor of aviation management at Denver Metropolitan State University, in an interview with the Washington Post in August 2021, also spoke of such powers of flight personnel: “Adhesive tape is usually used to secure a person who poses a threat to the flight or other persons.” However, this kind of action is taken only in extremely serious circumstances and at the direction of the pilot. In addition, some airlines equip their cabins with restraint kits.
In accordance with Article 10 of the Tokyo Convention, which still regulates most aviation crimes, in a situation where someone on board “is going to commit a crime that could interfere with the safety of people or cause damage to property on board, or that jeopardizes good order and discipline”, the crew has the right to take “reasonable measures” at their discretion without prior approval.
Earlier, Turprom wrote that “We thought it was the end and everyone would crash: a tourist told how the plane ran out of fuel.”
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