Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
Yesterday, I wrote about a new training programme being introduced by United Airlines to help flight attendants deal with allegations of in-flight sexual harassment and assault. It came about after United found itself on the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s (NCSE) Dirty Dozen List for “consistent failures in addressing sexually harassing actions, speech, or pornography-use.”
The new training, which started in January, made headlines for the fact that it will help flight attendants identify and challenge passengers watching porn in-flight but the syllabus goes much further than that, specifically focusing on sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation welcomed the move and applauded United for developing the new training course… but how many other airlines are introducing similar training?
After all, Sara Nelson the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) has previously said she’s never received any input on how to deal with sexual harassment during her long career as a flight attendant. It’s a fact that no doubt many other flight attendants could testify to as well.
AFA has warned of “rampant” sexual harassment within the airline industry, a concern that is also shared by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) – an organisation that represents a vast number of transport worker unions around the world.
“Shocking revelations of harassment and discrimination in the airline industry have come to light over the past year, with worrying numbers of cabin crew experiencing harassment, bullying and discrimination at work,” the ITF recently warned.
In the past, the organisation has helped expose shocking allegations of cabin crew mistreatment at Qatar Airways – and helped change conditions for the better. More recently, the ITF campaigned to promote the Montreal Convention 2014 which encourages countries to detain perpetrators of violence on-board an aircraft.
And now, the ITF wants to “hold airlines to account for the safety of their crew”.
“Every cabin crew member deserves a safe workplace, free from violence, harassment and discrimination – no matter their gender, ethnicity of how crew identify,” the ITF says of its new campaign.
But first, the ITF needs to know about your experiences as a flight attendant or cabin crew. The organisation is now accepting submissions from crew members around their world on a short cabin crew survey.
We would definitely urge you to spend a few minutes of your day to share your experiences. The ITF has connections around the world and also a lot of political clout – but they can only help advance the rights of cabin crew if they have the evidence to back up their claims. This is where your help is so vitally important. Take the survey today!
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.