With Covid finally under control, the airline industry is booming. The last year has had people on edge and also emboldened some people to behave like assholes. As a result, passenger problems on airlines are increasing.
How much? From April 8 to May 15, Southwest reported 477 passenger incidents. That’s a crazy high number. I fly Southwest about six times a year, and I honestly can recall only one time where a passenger was unruly. Sometime during that time period, a passenger knocked out the teeth of a Southwest flight attendant. What did the flight attendant do to deserve this? They reportedly asked the passenger to follow basic inflight instructions like keep your tray table in an upright position.
The flight attendant unions are strong and do seem to be stepping up to improve their safety. It takes a special type of idiot to attack a flight attendant. Is it ever their fault that a flight is late or you have to wear a mask or anything else? Of course not. This is never going to end well for the asshole passenger and I take joy when I hear about one of them being led away in cuffs or missing out on a vacation.
We’ve helped hundreds of flight attendants over the years. While most of the injuries are from lifting or turbulence, there certainly is a rise of work-related injuries from the passengers. Alcohol is surely the number one factor, but as I said, people are acting way more entitled these days than ever before. We’ve also seen an uptick in cases of people arguing about where they are sitting.
If you are a flight attendant, it’s important to know that Illinois has likely the best workers’ compensation laws in the country. United flight attendants can bring their cases here thanks to their union contract which makes the contract for hire Chicago. Anyone based out of O’Hare of Midway can bring their case here as well. The ones who don’t always bring their case here but should are the ones that get hurt on a flight that takes off from Illinois or is in Illinois air space. In many cases, you can file for work comp here.
Getting the case in Illinois as compared to a state like Texas for example can literally be the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars in your pocket if you have a severe injury. You also get to choose your own medical provider and don’t have to deal with overly employer-friendly rules and regulations.
We have worked with flight attendants from every major airline. I wouldn’t say one is better than another, although Southwest does seem to have a little higher rate of incidents due to their open seating policy and the number of flights to party cities like Vegas that are offered at lower fares.
While every case is different, I do want flight attendants to know that Illinois law is on their side and we can help, even if you just have questions. To speak with an experienced attorney for free and in confidence, call us at 312-346-5578 any time.