In This Edition
- Unruly Passenger Survey
- What Is Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder?
Unruly Passenger Survey
As unruly passenger incidents remain at an all-time high, our union is launching a platform to collect your experiences to fully assess the problem and help get meaningful support to all crews.
Self Defense Training
This week, the TSA announced the resumption of Crewmember Self Defense Training classes on July 1. The program is helpful in gaining skills for defense and confident positioning. However, as we have advocated since September 11, 2001, this training should be mandatory and part of our paid initial and recurrent training in order to build the muscle memory to use the tactics immediately when attacks advance without warning. Still, the resumption of the voluntary course is positive and should send a message to the flying public as well that these unruly incidents are serious. Flight Attendants are onboard for the safety and security of everyone on the plane.
The voluntary four-hour training is offered to flight crew members free of charge and is held at 24 locations around the United States. All active flight crew members for domestic carriers are eligible to register for the training. You can register here.
Our union continues to work with other unions, lawmakers, the FAA, DOT, and airline management on more that needs to be done to get this under control.
The Role of Alcohol
Alcohol is a major contributor to unruly passenger events. Make sure you keep this regulation handy as you advise the public that they cannot carry a drink onto the plane or consume their own alcohol on the plane. Federal regulations also affirm passengers may be refused boarding if they appear to be intoxicated.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) regulation §121.575 alcoholic beverages: (a) No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage to him.
AFA EAP is always available at (949) 470-0493. Additionally, make sure you’re copying in your AFA Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC) on unruly incidents to ensure our union can follow up with the airlines and regulators.
Sample of News Stories on Unruly Passengers
- As passengers return to air travel, bad behavior skyrockets, Associated Press
- Airlines urge government action as “egregious behavior” by unruly passengers soars, CBS News
- Airline groups ask DOJ to help crackdown on violent passengers, Fox Business
- ‘It’s out of control.’ Airlines, flight attendants want stiffer penalties for unruly passengers, CNBC
- We’re at ‘stress level 10’ with unruly passengers: Flight Attendant Union Pres., Yahoo Finance
- TSA Investigating New Assaults On Workers, Restarts Flight Attendant Self-Defense Training, CNN Newsroom
What Is Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder?
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)/Professional Standards Committee
Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) is a condition in which children or adolescents experience ongoing severe irritability, anger, and frequent, intense temper outbursts. The symptoms of DMDD go beyond a “bad mood.” DMDD symptoms are severe. Youth who have DMDD experience significant problems at home, at school, and often with peers. They also tend to have high rates of health care service use, hospitalization, and school suspension, and they are more likely to develop other mood disorders.
The Signs and Symptoms of DMDD include:
- Severe temper outbursts (verbal or behavioral), on average, three or more times per week
- Outbursts and tantrums that have been ongoing for at least 12 months
- Chronically irritable or angry mood most of the day, nearly every day
- Trouble functioning due to irritability in more than one place (at home, at school, and with peers)
Youth with DMDD are diagnosed between the ages of 6 and 10. To be diagnosed with DMDD, a child must have experienced symptoms steadily for 12 or more months.
What is the difference between typical irritability and severe irritability? All children can become irritable sometimes. It’s a normal reaction to frustration. Children experiencing severe irritability (as observed in DMDD) have difficulty tolerating frustration and have outbursts that are out of proportion for the situation at hand. These outbursts occur more often and are more severe than what you would typically expect for children of this age.
Over time, as children grow and develop, the symptoms of DMDD may change. For example, an adolescent or young adult with DMDD may experience fewer tantrums, but they begin to exhibit symptoms of depression or anxiety. For these reasons, treatment may change over time, too.
If you think your child has DMDD, it is essential to seek a diagnosis and treatment.
DMDD can be treated. If you are concerned that your child may have DMDD, talk to your child’s pediatrician or health care provider. Your AFA EAP can also assist you with a referral for your child. Your local AFA EAP Committee members contact information is available at https://afaalaska.org/eap or call (949) 470-0493.