A flight attendant says she was too exhausted to report a passenger who shoved her when a flight was overbooked: report

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A flight attendant says she was too exhausted to report a passenger who shoved her when a flight was overbooked: report
Flight attendants they have gotten sick less due to pandemic-era cleaning protocols. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
  • A flight attendant told The NYT that she was too exhausted to report a passenger who shoved her.
  • The passenger was upset about not boarding an overbooked flight, Nas Lewis said.
  • Attendants are "at our wits' end" and airlines are understaffed, she said.
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A flight attendant told The New York Times she was shoved by a passenger in May - but felt too exhausted to report the incident.

Nas Lewis, a flight attendant based in Chicago, told The Times that the passenger became upset about an overbooked flight.

Lewis didn't report being pushed because she was too worn out, she told The Times. "As flight attendants, we are at our wits' end," Lewis said. She withheld her airline's name because of its media policy, The Times reported.

Lewis is the founder of th|AIR|apy, an organization which advocates for flight attendants' mental health. She told The Times that the shortage of staff in the airline industry was making attendants "anxious."

"There's not enough people," she said. Staff "don't know what we're going to deal with on any given day," she added.

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The Times interviewed more than a dozen flight attendants from major airlines who said they felt exhausted, overworked, and scared for their safety.

Read more: United, Delta, and American Airlines need pilots so badly, they're making it easier than ever for newbies to land top flying jobs

Reports of unruly passengers are on the rise. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reported almost 4,000 incidents since the start of the year, it says on its website. The agency has opened 693 investigations during this period, compared to 146 in 2019, it says.

Most incidents involve passengers refusing to wear a mask, according to the FAA.

On Tuesday, the agency released a public-service announcement video warning against unruly behavior. The video featured sounds of passengers screaming and shouting.

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One JetBlue passenger was fined $45,000 for putting his head up a flight attendant's skirt, the FAA said earlier in August. Another man was arrested in Florida after being accused of hitting a flight attendant when he was asked to wear a face mask, according to police.

Some airlines, including American and Frontier, have resorted to duct taping passengers to their seats to control them.

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