Aircrews Reveal Lack of Training with United Airlines

Sara, Former United Airline Stewardess, Shared Her Story Below. 

Sara Nelson, a United Airlines flight attendant and president of the union, told CNN, “In my 22 years as a flight attendant, I have never taken part in a conversation — in training or otherwise — about how to handle sexual harassment or sexual assault.” CNN continued: “While policies exist, Nelson says that if they’re not elevated in airlines’ training, flight attendants are at a loss for what to do when confronting inappropriate — and sometimes criminal — behavior.”

[Note: even if United Airlines provides sexual harassment training on occasion, the fact that long-standing flight attendants are unaware of it shows that the training is either inconsistent or not effective.]

Five United Airline Aircrew Members Report to NCOSE

Five United Airlines aircrew members have reported that, while United Airlines created a 10-15 minute training video about human trafficking, there was no additional in-person training during the 2 day in-person training given to United employees in January 2019.

According to their report, while there was a short training on sexual harassment, there was no training for how to handle in-flight pornography-use by passengers.

Renae, Former United Airline Stewardess, Shared Her Story Below. 

You can read the full story here.

I saw an elderly woman openly watching pornography on her laptop. I say openly, because, despite the presence of children in nearby seats, and despite the horrified and shocked faces of several passengers around her, she made no effort to hide her screen. Unsure of how to handle this situation, I went to the senior flight attendant to ask her advice. However, she did not know what to do either and said we should just leave it be unless a passenger complains. So, because we did not have any training on how to deal with such a situation as this, we allowed the woman to continue watching the inappropriate material.

Sadly, this is not the only disturbing experience I had during my time as a flight attendant. More than once, while serving the main cabin, I had to serve men who had just been engaged in masturbation. Yes, you read that right- I had to hand a snack and beverage to a man whose hands had just been touching his genitals! Yet again, I was unprepared on how to handle this awkward situation, which, as I mentioned, happened on more than one occasion.

[Flight attendants also frequently experience sexual harassment during flights.]

I was never given training for these kinds of encounters. I did not know the airline’s policies regarding pornography use, sexual misconduct, indecency, etc. I was never taught the proper protocols for dealing with these behaviors.

And, unfortunately, my story is not unique.

My fellow crew members, whether in my crash pad, in the crew rooms, or on my flights, did not know what to do in these situations any more than I did. In fact, just last month I spoke with the Director of Inflight Training at my old airline and was sad to learn from her that there is still no written curriculum for preparing trainees and recurrent students on how to address these problems.


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