Southwest Asks Passengers To Watch Out For Unwanted Behaviour

Southwest Airlines has added a new item to its pre-flight announcements. The airline’s cabin crew will now request that passengers inform flight attendants of any unwelcome behavior onboard aircraft.

Southwest Airlines, Basic Economy, Gary Kelly
Southwest is asking passengers to be on the lookout for unwanted behavior. Photo: Getty Images

Changing on-board procedures is not necessarily an uncommon occurrence for airlines. In fact, just last month we reported that United airlines would be changing its announcements regarding in-flight blinds and power sockets. Now, it is Southwest’s turn, as the American low-cost airline has introduced a new pre-flight announcement. The new announcement has been in force since the 22nd of January this year.

So what’s new?

According to CNN, Southwest Airlines has started to request the passengers report any unwelcome behavior during the pre-flight emergency briefing. The publication states that one specific flight attendant was heard saying, “Please report any unwelcome behavior to your flight attendant Thank you for your attention.”

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The publication quotes a representative of the airline who said they want to make sure that passengers view flight attendants as an “approachable, professional resource for reporting any unwelcome behavior or conduct during a flight.”

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Southwest Airlines, Unwanted Behavior, Announcement
They hope that their flight attendants, known for being fun, remain professional and approachable. Photo: Southwest Airlines

They added, “This change reflects Southwest’s commitment to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment at all times.”

What is unwanted behavior?

The category of ‘unwanted behavior’ could be quite broad. This is especially true onboard airplanes were some people can really play up. From CNN’s coverage of the story, it seems as though Southwest is targeting the new announcement at sexual assaults.

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However, these days aircraft seem to have many instances of unwanted behavior. Just earlier today, Simple Flying reported that a passenger on American Airlines enjoyed the seat being punched for the duration of the flight having reclined it. Meanwhile, In July last year, the rapper Busta Rhymes brought a first-class British Airways passenger to tears over an overhead locker.

Southwest 737 MAX
Southwest is not the only airline that has to deal with unwanted behavior. Photo: Southwest Airlines

However, it does get worse. Also during last July, a Delta Air Lines passenger attempted to storm the cockpit of a Boeing 737 flying to JFK. The man in question reportedly screamed, “I am God! Tomorrow San Juan is going to disappear, I came to save the world, and I’m going to end terrorism.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, low-cost carrier Ryanair is also taking steps to cull unwanted behavior. In June the airline introduced a policy banning duty-free alcohol from hand luggage on a number of flights.

This was specifically to target unruly passengers on flights. Additionally, it came just after a Jet2 flight was diverted to London Stansted as a woman tried to open the door mid-flight. In fact, just today the woman involved was sentenced to prison according to the BBC. The incident cost Jet2 £86,000.

Would you feel comfortable telling the cabin crew about unwanted behavior? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Gerry S

I am New York, post 911. If you see something, say something. You bet I will snitch on a fellow passenger if he/she misbehaves.

JFP

In November 2019, I saw the passenger across the aisle from me on a Southwest flight edit an “adult” podcast on her laptop while we were en-route. I mentioned it to an FA who said that she and the other FA’s had heard the same thing. But, if they didn’t see it for themselves, they couldn’t do anything about it.