Major Report on Assaults on Passenger Service Agents

CWA passenger service agents worked hard last year to get language included in the FAA Reauthorization Act to protect agents from assault. The language included in the act ensures that airlines will develop clear procedures for reporting verbal and physical abuse of agents, will immediately notify law enforcement, and will stop passengers involved in violent incidents from proceeding onto aircraft before law enforcement has assessed the situation.

In mid-September, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled “Information on Passenger Assaults against Airline Customer Service Agents at Airports.” The report looked into assaults and harassment committed over the past year by passengers against airline customer service agents while they performed their duties. Of the 104 passenger service agents interviewed by the GAO:

  • Almost all reported experiencing verbal harassment.
  • Almost half reported experiencing verbal threats.
  • More than a third reported experiencing physical assaults or attempted physical assaults.

The report illustrates why we fought so hard to get language on assault in the FAA act. However, the fight to protect passenger service agents is far from over. CWA is still working with companies to implement clearer policies to protect agents.