Quarrel Aboard : The Way The Crew Reacts

inflight fight

For the most part it was an uneventful flight. With the exception of one passenger. Here’s how I’ll paint the picture for you; The flight that day was carrying 155 pax out of a total possible 189. As it was an overnight flight, after take off many of our passengers moved to empty rows in an attempt to lie down and sleep. This includes one passenger we moved specifically because he had a health concern and would need to be able to lie down at times (We’ll call him Jim). Just in front of Jim was Roy. Roy is our pax of interest today.

While boarding, Roy came up to me and asked me a series of questions including how he can buy weed in Cuba. I had no idea. That question threw me off, so I replied with “I wouldn’t know.” and went into the galley to help the other FA back there get ready for the flight.

Later, just before take off I was securing my cabin and had a small argument with Roy about pillows. Yes, pillows. He had a bag with two small pillows on the empty seat next to him. I asked him to put the bag under the seat for take off. “What, this?” He asked, “They’re just pillows!”

“I know,” I said, “But for take off they have be to secured.”

“They’re just pillows! What’s going to happen? Even if it hit someone in the face, it’s a pillow!”

He was becoming a little irritated. I would assume because he didn’t understand why he was being told to put the bag away.

So I explained, “If we need to get out of the plane quickly, those pillows could become a tripping hazard and make it difficult to get out of the aircraft.”

He rolled his eyes at me, but he put them away.

After take off, all went well! I went on with my services. Roy, along with many other passengers, ordered a drink or two. For the most part everything was routine. Although I noticed Roy started to have slurred speech and was starting to annoy his girlfriend and the other passengers near him. The thought came to mind that he had slammed a few back at the airport before boarding the plane. I discreetly informed others in the area to let me know if a problem arises, and then told the other FAs on board not to serve him any alcohol for a while.

Again after that for some time all was uneventful.

Until at one point in the flight I was returning to the back from the front of the plane. As I walk down the aisle I look into all the rows checking for hazards, making sure everyone is okay, and of course to see if anyone needs anything like a glass of water or whatnot. As I reach the back, a pax in the row in front of Roy points back and mouths the words “We have a problem.”

I look up, and there’s Jim (from the row behind Roy) standing in the aisle and is clearly upset. He sees me, points at Roy, and says “I want him off this plane! He threatened me!” Jim then made a motion as if he was ready to throw a punch, trying to demonstrate what Roy did. I look at Roy who is in his seat, and had his head down with his hands on his head. I think that was regret? It was hard to tell exactly, but I knew he wasn’t aggravated. The galley FA was already on the scene, so I told her I’d be right back and went to get our CSM.

In the front I learned our CSM was in the flight deck visiting the Pilot, but our First Officer was in the galley talking to an FA and waiting for a tea.

I told the FO about what was happening and she called the Flight Deck to get our CSM back. After letting our CSM know what happened, she went to the back to deal with the situation. She asked me to stay in the front. So I did so and explained in more detail to the FO what happened. I personally felt this was a “Warning Card Issue”. Warning cards are issued from the pilot to disruptive passengers as the first attempt make them realize the severity of the situation and hopefully calm them down. If the warning card is in effective, it can lead to landing the plane early and having authorities escort the passenger off.

When our CSM returned she said she spoke with Roy and he seemed to have calmed down. He promised he would behave for the remainder of the flight. She also informed Roy that we would not be serving him anymore alcohol. As for Jim, he was dissatisfied that we weren’t going to remove Roy.

As Roy promised, he was quiet and well behaved for the rest of the flight.

Unfortunately I don’t know what happened to cause the quarrel; but like I said earlier, Roy was annoying the passengers around him. I assume Jim was trying to sleep and said something to Roy.

I’m just glad the flight continued with no further incidents…

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