WASHINGTON, DC – Despite airline mask mandates likely coming to a close soon, air rage incidents have not subsided and one flight attendant union is demanding a radical new approach: bodycams.
According to the Airline Legion of Flight Attendants (ALFA), a leading flight attendants union, the solution is something many law enforcement agencies have employed for years: body cameras.
“Why not?” said Kara Johnson, President of the Airline Legion of Flight Attendants (ALFA). “Every airline passenger has at least one cell phone with a camera. And they want to record everything. Heck, one of our members said a three-year-old on one of her flights used an iPad to film a movie starring Biscoff cookies and apple juice.”
Ms. Johnson added, “Most of our hard-working flight attendants are not employed to be flying bartenders or serve re-heated TV dinners to pervy businessmen. We are there for your safety. With air rage incidents climbing faster than Jeff Bezos’ Freudian rocket, it’s time the public sees air travel from our perspective. Not some TikTok hack looking to get views. This makes it easier for us to dictate and control the narrative.”
Jackie S., a flight attendant from one of the “Big Four” airlines and who is testing the body cam in a pilot program, provided some insight.
“I often had to advise passengers, ‘Hey, buddy! Eyes up here!'” she said. “But after the initial shock of flyers realizing they’re on camera, most of them become little angels. They say, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and shake with sheer terror. They stop hitting on me or the passengers next to them. (It would) be a shame if their partner somehow saw that footage. Not to mention, most of them stop boozing after one or two drinks. After all, you don’t want your drunken behavior showing up on the internet. So, ultimately, I have less work to do, don’t receive as many complaints anymore, and can enjoy more downtime to relax and gossip. It is a win-win!”
There are ancillary bonuses the body cam program provides.
“Like, we’re allowed to keep some of the body camera video. That’s gold for our YouTube channels or TikToks!” said flight attendant, vlogger, lifestyle consultant, and aspiring eyelash designer “Fly Felicia!”
“Like, are you even a real flight attendant if you don’t have a YouTube channel?” she said. Ms. Felicia! declined to provide her legal name or disclose her employer. But during her videos, she says she “works for a United States airline.” In all 203 of her “A Day in the Life of a Flight Attendant” segments, she wears a Frontier Airline flight attendant uniform; associates with other people wearing Frontier flight attendant uniforms; and wears a Frontier name tag displaying “Felicia S.” She also frequently shows off Frontier aircraft.
Passengers this reporter spoke with are not happy to see this test program expand.
A weekly airline flyer with top elite status on several airlines said, “I live most of my life on jets. I am either working hard or taking a few short hours to relax before I have to resume my miserable life on the ground. To have a flight attendant recording my every request and action, only to end up on YouTube or social media or a no-fly list or whatever is a step too far.”
Previously mentioned flight attendant Jackie S. also noted a drawback.
“I appreciate the passengers behaving better,” she said. “Most of the people who made passes at me were disgusting and rude. But there are a few handsome passengers I wish would flirt with me. Or I could flirt with. Like that hot guy in three-bravo (seat 3B) on the LAX to Orlando flight. But because everything’s on camera now, dropping some game during a flight isn’t a good idea.”
What do airlines think about flight attendant body cameras? Because this is a union issue, they seem to have taken a hands-off approach to the pilot program.
But one airline executive speaking on condition of anonymity told The Takeoff Nap, “We value our frequent flyers’ money and want them to spend as much of that and their time with us. So, if they’re not happy, then we’re not happy. Usually. Sometimes. Whatever. But the unions scare us to death. No way are we going to mess them. Especially the flight attendants. So, really, no one wins. Unless there’s something juicy on the cameras that we can tie into our co-branded credit card promotions.”
A union vote on the issue is expected later this month.