Fighting For Pilots' Mental Health

There has been a great deal in the news lately about flights that have diverted and made unscheduled landings due to unruly passengers. Some of these events have been due to disputes between passengers over seats being reclined. 

In one incident a man used a device called the Knee Defender. This person used the Knee Defender to keep the woman in front of him from reclining her seat during a flight. A flight attendant asked him to remove the device. When he refused the woman in front of him through water on him. 

There are faults on both sides of this issue. First, if anyone ever listens to the briefings that are given at the beginning of every flight, they would know that it is a federal regulation to comply with all lighted signs and crew member instructions. In other words, when the seat belt sign is on passengers are required by law to remain in their seats. Additionally, when a flight attendant tells you to do something the law requires that you follow those instructions. Therefore, when this man did not remove the Knee Defender he was in violation of the law.

On the flip side of finding fault here lets look at the woman who through the water on this man. There is only one thing I can say about this. REALLY??? Some people think they can do what ever they want. Should she be able to recline her seat? There could be a heated debate on both sides of the isle regarding that topic. I personally do not recline my seat when I am a passenger in the cabin of an airplane. That simply is my choice. I know how it can be an inconvenience when someone in front of me reclines his or her seat. I do not like it, but I also do not say anything to someone doing so. There is this thing called civility.

Both people in this case were within their rights to politely speak to the other person about the situation and work it out in a civil manner. But when it gets to the point that the pilots decide to land the airplane and have these people removed from the aircraft then many people are inconvenienced. First, this cost the airline thousands of dollars just for the additional fuel. The flight crew is being paid by the hour so there are additional wages to be paid.

There are many other things to consider than just operational costs. With the delay that is caused passengers will miss flight connections. Often times travelers have plans that may have to be canceled and may not be able to receive refunds on these cancelations.  Due to missed flights the airline may have to pay for hotels and meal vouchers for passengers.

When it is all said and done with the costs are enormous. There is one simple solution to a situation like this. First, make sure the people responsible are arrested and charged. Secondly, anyone who suffers financial loss due to the delay should be subject to reimbursement from the offenders who caused the delay. 

On one of these latest fiascos one woman involved said she did not care what the circumstances were she demanded that the airplane land. I am guessing that if she were billed for all of these additional costs she would not be so demanding in the future. Also, if word got out that people were being charged thousands of dollars that other people would not be so fast to act in such a childish manner.

It all gets back to how we treat each other. Rudeness does not help in any situation. Being polite and thinking about others is just the right thing to do. However, we live in a society today that people think only of themselves. We have become so selfish many people think they can do whatever they want without suffering any consequences. 

It is time to return to people using good old fashioned manners. If more people thought about how their actions affect themselves and others, our society would be far better off.

Keep an eye on the sky!

Collin Hughes
The Prozac Pilot

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