In the midst of an aviation crisis, flight attendants in Montreal can no longer stand being threatened, insulted and even physically assaulted by passengers unhappy with delays.
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“However, I was so anxious to get back to work after the pandemic. In the first few months it was fine, but it has deteriorated rapidly since everyone started traveling again,” said Marie, who works for Air Canada.
Like the other three stewardesses with whom The newspaper spoke, requesting anonymity as she is not authorized to speak to the media.
Very recently, several passengers insulted her after a flight from London was cancelled.
“It’s not our fault and it also bores us when a flight is canceled because we’re coming back a day or two later. We are not paid to wait abroad. And we have families and lives outside of work,” she explained.
The aviation industry is overwhelmed by an increase in the number of travellers, which is causing numerous flight delays and cancellations. The passengers are nervous and take out their anger on the employees (see testimonials below), deplores these four flight attendants.
Cynthia, who also works for Air Canada, explains that being called “dumb, bitch and incompetent” has become recurrent for her.
A stewardess shows the bruises that passengers gave her mid-flight.
The impatient ones even attack her physically, for example by squeezing her arm or kicking her legs, to the point of leaving bruises. All this, in order to draw her attention when she serves the meals.
These days, it often happens after a landing that officers are told not to let passengers off the plane onto the tarmac because there are already too many people crammed into the aisle.
“We threaten to open the emergency exits, to attack us, they yell at us. I was even pushed by a man. This is crazy. Having to put up with people like that on every flight is an abuse,” said a WestJet employee.
By email, his airline admits that frontline workers have to navigate “a very difficult travel environment, with the highest number of passengers since the start of the pandemic.”
For its part, Air Canada assures that it does not tolerate any type of aggression or hostility towards its personnel.
what they’ve been through
THREATENED EVEN HER HOTEL
Two weeks ago, a WestJet flight attendant was already on the plane when the flight from a Caribbean island to Toronto was suddenly cancelled.
Disgruntled passengers chased her to the door of her hotel room, shouting and insulting her.
“People have been unpredictable since the pandemic, so I was completely scared. I felt threatened and not really safe that night because they knew which room I was sleeping in,” she said.
DRUNK PASSENGER SMOKE ON PLANE
On a flight between Halifax and Montreal, a flight attendant, who preferred to keep her name silent, had to intervene with a man who had vaped in the toilet. This had also activated the smoke detection system.
Unhappy, the passenger who seemed to have some drinks up his nose and who was going to spend the weekend in Montreal for F1 pushed the Montrealer. He hit his head on the trunk. He was escorted off the plane by security guards, but members of his group wrote ” Fuck off Air Canada” on the boarding bridge.
On another flight, he had to intervene with an aggressive American traveler. He had just punched his colleague in the hand, who simply asked him to put his mask back on.
On an Air Canada flight between London and Montreal, a disgruntled mother yelled at and even pushed stewardess Marie because there was no more room in the cabin to carry her stroller.
INSULT IN FRONT OF ALL PASSENGERS
During a flight between Cayo Coco and Montreal, an English-speaking pilot announced that there was going to be a slight delay. So flight attendant Cynthia took the intercom microphone to repeat the announcement, but in French. That’s when a disgruntled passenger started yelling at him in front of everyone.
This same Air Canada agent also found feces in an alley after a flight between Dublin and Montreal.
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