Calling out bad behavior becomes part of Southwest’s pre-board announcement


Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (CNN) — If you’re already asleep during the pre-flight announcements, you’re likely to miss it.

Southwest Airlines is asking passengers to report any “unwelcome behavior” on their aircraft to the flight attendants on duty. 

As of January 22, it’s now part of the airline’s required pre-flight emergency briefing and demonstration, right after the instructions about operating oxygen masks.

“We are here for your comfort and safety,” said the flight attendant on the ground at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia. “Please report any unwelcome behavior to your flight attendant. Thank you for your attention.”

“This change reflects Southwest’s commitment to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment at all times,” Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish told CNN Travel, confirming the language had recently been added to the airline’s pre-flight briefing.

The airline wants to remind customers that their flight attendants, who are known throughout the industry for making their flights fun, “are an approachable, professional resource for reporting any unwelcome behaviors or conduct during a flight,” Parrish said.

Southwest’s flight attendants have established procedures, which may include re-seating a customer away from the person exhibiting the “unwelcome behavior,” requesting that the offending customer stop whatever offensive behavior they’re doing, notifying the captain and seeking law enforcement assistance upon landing, Parrish said.

There are a growing number of reports of people being assaulted in flight and not knowing what to do at 30,000 feet, including kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart.

The number of sexual assaults reported during commercial airline flights has been increasing “at an alarming rate,” the FBI said two years ago.

FBI investigations into midair sexual assaults increased by 66% over a four-year period, from fiscal year 2014 to 2017. The bureau reported that it had opened 63 investigations into sexual assault on aircraft in 2017, compared with 57 in 2016, 40 in 2015 and 38 in 2014.

Southwest isn’t the first airline to include that language in their announcements.

After two instances of sexual harassment on its flights in late 2017, Alaska Airlines has included a request in its pre-flight announcement to passengers to report any sexual harassment or assault to a flight attendant immediately.

Other airline crews have had to deal with sexual harassment in the sky as well.

Virgin Atlantic faced blowback in 2019 after passengers used its in-flight messaging system to harass a fellow passenger, who happened to specialize in sexual harassment cases at a law firm.

The airline told CNN in October 2019 that its seat-to-seat messaging was already being phased out across the fleet at the time of the incident.

2 thoughts on “Calling out bad behavior becomes part of Southwest’s pre-board announcement

  1. “Please report any unwelcome behavior to your flight attendant.”

    Ha! They are going to have their hands full. Every manner of annoyance is going to be reported and they will be running back and forth to deal with such stupidity.

    “Stewardess, come quick!! Emergency!! The man over there just burped. And that fat lady farted. The kid in row six gave me a funny look.”

    Man, we aughta inundate them with petty offenses until they scream, “Stop!!”

    Well, they keep pushing forward in creating their army of spies and tattletales. Such an army is destined to self-destruct.


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