What to tell kids about air rageTuesday, August 10, 2010
I am so thankful I was not a passenger on that JetBlue flight that was the setting for the dust-up between a passenger and flight attendant Steven Slater. I'm even more thankful my children weren't on board.
I have been on flights in which a passenger acts inappropriately--maybe a frightened flyer drinks too much and gets a little beligerent or an overweight flyer takes up more than his fair share of seating area and angers a seatmate--but it has never gotten to a point where I was worried it might escalate to violence.
The facts of Steven Slater and his JetBlue emergency shute escape from an abusive passenger still are coming out (read the latest NY Times version here.) But I suspect there are at least a few passengers who are glad that flight is over.
I've been on the L before when someone does something to make me feel uncomfortable. But that's easily dealt with. I can grab my stuff, a kid's hand, whatever, and calmly walk to the next car. Or get off at the next stop.
But none of those coping mechanisms works at 35,000 feet. There, you're trapped.
That kind of air rage is scary for adults. It must be even scarier for kids. What if a kid was traveling alone on that flight?
I've asked some experts for their advice on how to handle such an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation. I'll let you know what they say.