(NEXSTAR) – Unruly airline passengers might still be trying to ignore the federal mask mandate, but at least one flight attendant is prepared to annoy travelers into compliance.
The unidentified flight attendant, whose no-nonsense pre-flight speech has gone viral on TikTok, could be heard telling passengers on a recent flight to Las Vegas that she was prepared to be “annoying” if she saw anyone wearing their masks improperly — even if they were fast asleep in their seats.
“If that face covering is not on your face properly, I will wake you up. And I do not care,” the flight attendant, who is off-screen, can be heard saying in the video.
“I will be annoying. We don’t have to be annoying, but I will be.”
The flight attendant also pointed out a few passengers who were already letting their masks slip off their noses and issued a warning specifically to this group.
“I already see some noses right now… and we got COVID test on board, we will swab you. It’s gonna be free.”
The speech, which was recorded by Los Angeles resident Tyler Janeé, has since been viewed nearly 3 million times on TikTok over the last week.
“It kinda threw me off,” Janeé told Nexstar, “but I agree with her 100%. Flight attendants have been struggling with passengers over these masks… She must have dealt with a lot, already, to have that conversation with us.”
TikTok viewers largely agreed with Janeé, with many throwing their support behind the flight attendant.
“I don’t blame [her],” wrote one viewer. “I work in health care [and] I’m so tired of asking people to do something that’s been a rule for over a year.”
“She should be in charge of the country,” another TikTok user wrote. “We would’ve been done with COVID IN THE FIRST YEAR.”
Janeé, too, ended up being a big fan of the flight attendant’s remarks.
“I support her, I think she’s a queen,” said Janeé, who declined to identify which airline the attendant worked for. “I think she was being her most authentic self.”
This flight attendant, meanwhile, is just one of many employees in the airline industry who have voiced frustration with unruly passengers. In June, a flight attendant for American Airlines scolded disruptive passengers for making the flight “a living hell” by refusing to abide by mask mandates. The following month, the Association of Flight Attendants (AWA-CFA) called on the Department of Justice to take action amid a rise in incidents caused by unruly and sometimes “physically abusive” passengers, citing a survey that found 17% had experienced a physical altercation in 2021 alone.
The Federal Aviation Administration, too, has confirmed a “disturbing increase” in violent or disruptive behavior since the beginning of the year. According to the agency’s most recent data, nearly 4,300 reports of unruly passengers have been reported to the FAA since the beginning of 2021, and nearly three-quarters of those incidents were mask-related.
The FAA has also proposed over $1,000,000 in civil penalties (collectively) against some of those disruptive passengers since enacting a zero-tolerance policy in January.
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