FLIGHT attendants are being taught fighting skills including ear slapping, eye poking and groin kicks to defend themselves against unruly passengers.

Disruptive incidents on flights have risen in recent years, due to reasons including free booze on flights and disagreements over Covid rules.


Flight crew are being taught aggressive fighting moves to combat disruptive passengersCredit: Reuters

Airports are now conducting training sessions for members of the cabin crew to learn aggressive self defense moves.

Specifically designed for fights in close-quarters, due to the small nature of the cabin, the moves include the double-ear slap, the eye-poke, and the groin-kick.

The special moves are designed because “you don’t want to get into a long, drawn-out fight,” said former trainer Scott Armstrong.

The free classes have been going since 2001 following the terror attacks of September 11 but were paused de to Covid, although the Transportation Security Authority (TSA) has since resumed them.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported 3,420 “unruly passenger” incidents already this year, the majority of which have been due to ignoring the mandatory face mask rule.

Fines for passengers breaking the rules are steep, with the FAA issuing $682,000 of fines year-to-date.


Last month, a Delta flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger tried to break into the cockpit, and was fined $52,500.

A Jet2 passenger was jailed this month, after he was locked in the plane toilet when attacking the cabin crew and even tried to bite a female flight attendant.

One of the 165 passengers on board the flight said they were “traumatised” by the incident and “still had nightmares”.

Sarah Nelson, the president of the International Association for Flight Attendants (AFA), is calling for the classes to be mandatory, claiming flight crew have become “literal punching bags” for passengers, with some even leaving their jobs because of it.

She said: “This should send a message to the public that these events are serious and flight attendants are there to ensure the safety and security of everyone in the plane.”

The free classes are open to flight attendants across US airports


The free classes are open to flight attendants across US airportsCredit: Reuters
Flight crew are learning to defend themselves due to a rise in fights on planes


Flight crew are learning to defend themselves due to a rise in fights on planesCredit: Reuters
Southwest Airlines flight attendant suffers horror injuries as passenger knocks out her teeth when told to put seat belt on
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