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How to handle angry passengers


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Passengers in an aircraft do get angry at the least provocation. In the Indian context, the Indian passengers have a mentality that when they buy an airline ticket they think that they have purchased the crew along with the ticket and their behavior inside the aircraft turns very ugly and many a times very nasty. This presentation will help the cabin crew in the Indian aviation scene,immensely.

Published in: Technology

How to handle angry passengers

  2. 2. Passengers – a diverse mixture<br />As a member of cabin crew on a commercial airline you will come across a large mix of people from all backgrounds and cultures.  <br />Although there are many stereotypes in society, it may be useful to be aware of them for quick and efficient handling of passengers.<br />
  3. 3. A stereotype is a cultural and social expectation that may not be wholly true and accurate but exists in society and we cannot avoid them.<br />Would you provide the same service to an elderly man the same way you would treat a 20 year old man heading on holiday?  What language and service would you provide someone with full religious garb, or a pregnant woman finding it difficult to enjoy the flight?  Or simply, how would you treat an angry passenger compared to a co-operative and peaceful passenger?<br />
  4. 4. Title<br />
  5. 5. Describing appearance and emotions <br />It is useful to ask yourself questions when you have to deal with a problem passenger and keep in mind these questions need to be answered within a few seconds: -<br />Who are they?<br />Why do you think they are complaining or not co-operating?<br /> How will you resolve the situation?<br /> What language will you use?<br />
  6. 6. Title<br />.  It is advisable to not use overly direct and plain language. <br />e.g. a passenger is complaining about their meal, and evaluating the situation consider your language.  <br />1. Politeness and consideration <br />*Image viaBing<br />
  7. 7. This can also be reinforced by modal verbs that are not strong but still project advice, suggestion and recommendation.  For example: -Sir, you may like to try this meal instead.Madam, would you like to try this option?You could try this meal instead, sir.Escalated problems, in other words situations you probably cannot handle on your own need to be directed to your senior colleague.<br />
  8. 8. COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR SENIORSUse of adjectives and nouns e.g. angry passengerKeep it simple and use the present simple or progressive tenses e.g. he is not moving from his seat.Using stronger tone and stress will show your Senior the situation is more important compared to if you use a lighter tone. His reaction will greatly depend on how YOU project Think of the importance of the problem.<br />
  9. 9. SITUATION …………….1<br />
  10. 10. Context.  What type of passengers? Predict.   What could be potential problems?Communicate.   What language will you use?This picture shows a group of young travelers, maybe college students heading for college tour.  There is a possibility they may be noisy and even over-bearing towards other passengers.<br />
  11. 11. SITUATION……………..2<br />
  12. 12. Context.  What type of passengers? Predict.  What could be potential problems? Communicate.   What language will you use?Looking at the body language and gesturing of the male passenger there could be a problem with his meal.  Did he order it?  Is there a problem with what is on the plate?  Also consider his age and background.<br />
  13. 13. SITUATION…………….3<br />
  14. 14. Context.  What type of passengers?    Predict.  What could be potential problems?     Communicate.  What language will you use?A number of situations could be predicated here, from complaining to even an argument between passengers.  How would you handle the situation, would you need more help from a supervisor?<br />
  15. 15. MENTAL CHECKLIST*Be aware of your passengers and who they are*Ask yourself a series of questions to evaluate the situation*What could happen next, will you need a supervisor?  How would you speak to the supervisor, how would you describe the passenger?<br />
  16. 16. THE IMPORTANT FIVE*Assertive Communication/ Behavior*Active Listening Skills*Disability Awareness*“Person-First” Language*Managing Anger<br />
  17. 17. *ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOUR<br />*The language of assertive communication<br />begins with the use of “I” statements.<br /> **Assertive behavior is not aggressive behavior.<br /> ***It avoids the use of “you” statements.<br />
  18. 18. Suppose you have an obstinate passenger who refuses to fasten his/her seat belt.Possible response, that will elicit a desired behavior: “Sir/Madam It is mandatory that all passengers must wear the seat belt". This is also for your own safety**Don’t let a passenger’s bad attitude rub off on you.**Be prepared to face difficult.<br />
  19. 19. ACTIVE LISTENING<br />Listening is perhaps the most needed and often the least practiced communication skill.<br /> Active listening includes skills that convey recognition of the other person’s situation and feelings. In order to do this, Cabin Crew needs to listen to and understand the true meaning of what passengers are saying, not just hearing their words.<br />
  20. 20. TECHNIQUES OF ACTIVE LISTNING<br />Paraphrase or restate in your words what you heard.<br />Ask clarifying questions.<br />Make eye contact with the passenger.<br /> Use nonverbal cues such as nodding and facial expressions.<br />
  21. 21. Disability Awareness<br /> Another strategy for effectively managing potentially difficult situations is that the crew should be sensitive and responsive to passengers with disabilities. Crew who are sensitive and understanding of the needs of passengers with disabilities are better prepared to head-off potentially difficult situations. The goal here is to……………………<br />treat others as you wish to be treated.<br />
  22. 22. Person-First Language<br />Person-first language refers to the individual with a disability before referring to their disability. <br />Using terms such as “handicapped” or “wheelchair bound” dehumanizes the individual and tends to categorize him/her on the basis of disability.<br />
  23. 23. Saying “individual with a disability” or “person in a wheelchair” not only acknowledges the person, it also dispels the notion that the person is “bound” to a wheelchair. <br />Wheelchairs are liberating, not confining!<br />
  24. 24. Managing Anger<br />THE MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTE OF CABIN CREW<br />
  25. 25. Anger is a response to an event overwhich the individual may or may nothave control. The anger may be driven by events completely unrelated tothe present event. <br />
  26. 26. Every individual has an “angerthreshold.” A situation that makesone person’s behavior explode mayonly elicit a sigh from someone else.The goal of a successful Cabin Crew is to manage the issue and diffuse the passenger’s anger.<br />
  27. 27. Causes of passenger Anger<br />Delay in departure/arrival<br />Unprofessional handling of passenger at check in.<br />IFE not functioning. PTVs not working.<br />Misinformation to passengers. <br />Mishandling of Passengers on arrival.<br />Passenger not getting what he asked for.<br />Vegetarian meal not given.<br />Passenger Call not attended.<br />Amenities not available.<br />
  28. 28. PROPER COMMUNICATION ……<br />Eg. Let’s suppose you are running 2 hrs late because another passenger was ill and you had to go back to the gate, call for medical assistance and then offload the passenger.<br /> The other passengers on board are annoyed, but understanding of the circumstances; <br />However, when you arrive at your next stop, the individual boarding is furious. Which crew response will diffuse the boarding passenger’s anger?<br />
  29. 29. 1) “Hey man, we had a passengerwho was ill and we had to go back to the gate and then off load the passenger. just chill-out man!”2) “I can understand your feelingsand you have every right to be upset.I apologize that we’re running solate. We had a passenger who was illand we had to go back to the gate and then offload the passenger. <br />
  30. 30. Techniques that make a passenger feel heard and help diffuse his anger.<br />General demeanor—calm, listening, non-threatening, understanding of issue;<br /> Tone of voice—keep voice low and steady; speak slowly, and paraphrase,<br />identify with the passenger’s feelings;<br /> Language—use “I” statements such <br />as, “I can see that you are very <br />upset about.....” ; con’t<br />
  31. 31. Techniques that make a passenger feel heard and help diffuse his anger.<br />Body language—maintain eye contact, nod agreement, hands quiet;<br /> Maintain personal control—if the Cabin Crew loses his/her temper, nobody benefits and it will escalate tension.<br />Neither the Cabin Crew nor other passengers should put up with verbal abuse, profanity or threatening behavior. However, it is still important to remain calm. <br />
  32. 32. VERY IMPORTANT<br />If a Cabin Crew feels that a passenger poses a danger, he/she needs to call immediately for help from seniors.<br />All incidents should be documented in accordance with the airlines policy.<br />
  34. 34. STRATEGY………………1<br />If someone is angry, let them sound off and calm down before you try to deal with the situation. Unless they get really abusive or threaten you, it's best to let them get it off their chest. Once they have run out of steam, it's much easier to handle things.Don't try to interrupt them and certainly don't say " I think you should calm down " as this is like throwing petrol on a smoldering fire.<br />
  35. 35. STRATEGY……………2<br />In the face of anger, your " fight or flight " responses will kick in. In other words, you will feel the urge either to become aggressive yourself or to run away. Try not to shout back or to burst into tears. Stay calm, count to 10 ( or 20 ), take deep breaths and stay in control.<br />
  36. 36. STRATEGY…………..3<br />Maintain neutral but assertive body language. What one earth does that mean? Well, it sounded impressive. It means, don't avoid eye contact and look down at the floor and don't shrink physically. But don't take an aggressive stance either, just sit or stand up straight, keep eye contact and try to look calm and attentive.<br />
  37. 37. STRATEGY……………..4<br />Listen carefully and try to really understand what is causing the problem. As they calm down and you can have more of a dialogue with them, start to ask questions to get specifics about what is wrong. Show them you are interested in getting to the root of the matter, not avoiding it.<br />
  38. 38. STRATEGY……………5<br />Acknowledge their right to be angry if they have a point. For example, if you have made a mistake or failed to complete something by a deadline, own up to it and don't make excuses. If they have been left in a difficult position, tell them you can see why they are annoyed or frustrated and that you are eager to help them put things right.Don't say " I understand how you feel " because people often react to that by saying " I don't think you do ".Instead, say something like " I can see why this is frustrating for you. "<br />
  39. 39. STRATEGY………………6<br />If something has gone wrong, make suggestions about how to fix it. Don't get bogged down in how it went wrong, be positive about how you are going to make it better. Show that you are taking them seriously and say " This is what I'm going to do to deal with this."<br />
  40. 40. STRATEGY……………..7<br />Don't take it personally ( unless it is, of course) Usually, if a client gets annoyed, it's not personal, it's because something has gone wrong and they are in a difficult position. That may or may not be your fault.<br />Don't take it as a personal attack. Deal with the situation, not the person.<br />
  41. 41. STRATEGY……………….8<br />Remember that the way you deal with a mistake can lead to someone becoming a committed client or PASSENGER of yours.<br /> We've all had problems with suppliers or service providers and the way they have handled the problems has determined whether we stayed with them or not.<br />Where someone takes your complaint seriously and deals with it quickly and courteously, you are probably even more likely to stay with them than if the problem hadn't arisen in the first place.<br />