Holidays Add More Stress For Flight Attendants [VIDEO]
The holiday season is officially here, and for some, that means added stress. It's strange that a "holiday" can bring on stress. Usually when you think of a holiday, you think of fun and relaxation. Not so for many, and definitely not for flight attendants.
We've all heard about the incidents occurring when flight attendants reach their so-called boiling point. Like the 2010 case of Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater, who grabbed a beer from his airplane's galley, cursed out the aircraft and exited the plane through the plane's emergency exit at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, intentionally deploying the emergency slide to disembark.
Ever since 9/11, things have been strained, to say the least. Well, this hits close to home for me and my family, because my younger sister is flight attendant, and has been for 18 years now.
My family was so nervous on 9/11 until we knew my sister, Carrie, was safe. Now, my sister is good at her job, because in a crisis she can think on her feet, and stay calm. In fact, my sister's first flight as a flight attendant, she had to deliver a baby - on flight. WOW!
So I can only imagine how stressful holiday flying can be for the attendants when it's crowded and the airlines are having to deal with delays and keeping passengers calm and happy.
Stress for flight attendants can be so bad that a program called CIRP (Critical Incident Response Program) is in place to allow flight attendants to confidentially speak to another flight attendant after a traumatic event.
Here's what the CEO of US Airways, Doug Parker, had to say about holiday stress for pilots and flight attendants:
although pilots and flight attendants have trained for years for the stresses and traumatic events that can occur on a flight, it can "still be a traumatic event when it actually happens."
"They have a peer out there that they're able to talk to and be able to deal with it rather than telling them to go back out there and fly again," Parker said. "This program offers the flight attendants this opportunity to deal with that better and we're really happy it's in place."
So if you're flying this holiday season, you might want to avoid stress and get to the airport early and just bring a good book to read. Running late can really get you stressed and in a bad mood. Also, if can tell the flight attendant is a little "frazzled" just smile and let them know everything is fine. You never know, that flight attendant could be somebody's sister!