Flight Attendant Gets Real About the Rash of Passenger Protests Against Airlines

D.L. Chandler
With so much turmoil being documented lately between flight crews and passengers, one flight attendant is standing up for his profession. (Photo: Getty Images)

With the recent influx of videotaped snafus involving major airline carriers, a revolt of sorts has been sparked against the industry by disgruntled passengers. One flight attendant believes that there is a “Passengers’ Lives Matter” movement afoot and has little direction other than to make those in his profession miserable for just trying to do their jobs.

Nathan L. Henderson, who works for a major carrier, penned an opinion piece for the New York Post speaking in defense of flight attendants and airline workers. Henderson, 34, and a New York City resident, believes that the aggression he faces from the hundreds of passengers he serves — between 600 and 900 people a day, he says — has become increasingly hostile in the wake of the United Airlines viral incident and other related happenings. 

Henderson writes:

Everyone has this “Passengers’ Lives Matter” mentality since the United Airlines incident [where a passenger being bumped for an airline employee was bloodied while being dragged off a plane].

They are way more disrespectful and blame us for every problem they experience.

People regularly say things like, “I was going to push my call light for a drink, but I don’t want to get dragged down the aisle.” And, “There was no space for my bag, but we all know what will happen to people who speak up.”

It’s frustrating, but we just have to take it and smile because they can tape it and tweet it — usually out of context — and get us in trouble at any moment.

In short, Henderson just wants a little more respect for his service. He goes on to detail an incident where he did attempt to stick up for himself, respectfully, and was subsequently reported to his supervisors. Still, he offers appreciation for travelers who do bring some respect and kindness to their interactions. “I’m grateful for the passengers who go above and beyond to treat us with compassion,” says Henderson. “People like that make all the difference.”

Read the rest of Henderson’s piece here.

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