FLIGHT attendants are much more perceptive than you think we might be.
In fact, a big part of our job is monitoring anything that could potentially become a threat so we're ready to tackle it if/when it arises.
In this week's blog for Sun Online Travel, I'll be talking about how we keep an eye on passengers we think might be a problem – and what happens when we're proved right.
I say this so much, but the main part of our job is keeping people safe rather than serving drinks and food.
As part of that, we are trained to monitor passengers' movements and behaviour, particularly those who start to act a little unusually.
For instance, we'll make a not of the frequency of the same passengers around the flight deck area – if you're coming over to the flight deck a lot, we'll consider it suspicious.
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But also people who are seen using the toilet quite often, we may profile them and just tell the other members of the cabin crew to keep an eye on the situation.
It might be that you have a medical reason and need medication or something, but it could also be that you're potentially suspicious and should be monitored closer.
We've managed to catch several people up to no good, mainly people vaping in the toilets, which you absolutely shouldn't be doing for a number of reasons.
However, sometimes it's people using drugs. Either way, it's quite obvious and if we do catch you, we will then have decide what punishment is appropriate.
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Luckily, most of the time it's just someone with a bad stomach, but we have caught more than enough people doing things they shouldn't to prove that it's a worthwhile exercise.
We refer to it as Crew Relationship Management (CRM) and it's just us letting everyone know if you've spotted something to keep an eye on.
This is especially important when we're flying long haul and staff members are taking breaks all the time.
It acts as a little heads up to tell others returning to their shift about anything they need to be on the lookout for.
As well as possible drug use, it also includes potentially disruptive passengers.
So if there were any altercations between passengers, perhaps over reclining seats or smelly snacks or anything like that.
If those two people are still near one another, it's worthwhile just keeping a watchful eye on them to make sure it doesn't boil over.
The same with anyone getting belligerent with crew for any reason.
We will inform the senior crew member who will consult with the commander and ultimately decide whether any more action needs to be taken.
Most commonly, this comes in the form of a restraint, which we're perfectly entitled, as well as trained and equipped, to use.
So many times, I've heard angry passengers saying we don't have the authority to do anything to them – and it's a load of nonsense.
We have cable ties and straps on board, and it's at the cabin commander's discretion if we do restrain someone.
But if a passenger needs it, we aren't just going to leave them to be a risk to the rest of the cabin.
Once they are strapped up, then it's up to the captain to decide whether or not the flight continues to its destination, or is diverted for safety.
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Meanwhile another passenger has sparked a debate on Reddit after refusing to swap seats with a woman and her disabled partner.
A mum has revealed how she gets passengers to swap seats without causing any problems during a flight.
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