Statement with International Transport Workers’ Federation on International Cabin Crew Day

31 May 2021 – Today is International Cabin Crew Day. We salute all the world’s cabin crew for their dedication to helping people stay connected through air travel. We pay special tribute to those whose livelihoods have fallen victim to the pandemic. And the salute includes all who continue to keep people safe in-flight during the pandemic.

Sadly, these trying times have not brought out the best in all of us. The return of travel has seen a rise in reports of disruptive passengers in some areas of the globe. This behaviour is unacceptable. The actions of a minority of badly-behaved passengers will not be tolerated.

All passengers must adhere to the rules and procedures needed to keep passengers and crew safe and healthy. In the pandemic that includes instructions for temporary measures such as mask-wearing. Failing to comply with safety measures is never acceptable, and passengers should expect a zero-tolerance approach to abusive behaviour to crew or their fellow passengers.

An international framework is a critical deterrent. But the acceptance of Montreal Protocol 14 (MP14), which enables the prosecution of unruly behaviour onboard international services, is not yet universal. We urge all governments to ratify MP14 without delay.

We also ask governments to recognise the importance of crew, and the air transport industry more widely, by prioritising aircrew for vaccination as recommended by ICAO, and in line with World Health Organisation recommendation for governments to prioritise vaccinations for transport workers.

We will get through this crisis. And when the freedom to travel is fully restored, we know that we can count on the world’s cabin crew to help us travel safely.

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