Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Flight attendants learn kung fu to deal with unruly passengers

(USA Today) -- Hong Kong Airlines is asking its flight crews to learn a form of kung fu, something the carrier hopes will help its staff deal with drunk and unruly passengers, AFP reports.
AFP writes "Hong Kong Airlines said all staff had been invited to undergo training in wing chun -- a form of kung fu used in close-range combat -- but it was only compulsory for cabin crew, the Sunday Morning Post (of Hong Kong) reported."
The airline deals with about three disruptive passengers a week, according to Hong Kong Airlines spokeswoman Eva Chan.
She says the benefits of adding martial arts training came into focus two weeks ago after a flight attendant used her previous training to help resolve an incident on a Beijing-to-Hong Kong flight.
"One of the passengers was sick but he was probably drunk and felt unwell. The crew member attended to him and she realized her fitness was helping her, especially because the guy was quite heavy," Chan told the Morning Post.
One of the airline's newest attendants, 22-year-old Lumpy Tang, tells the Morning Post the martial arts training came as a surprising -- but welcome -- addition to her job description.
"You cannot predict what will happen on the plane, so wing chun is good because it's so fast," Tang said to the paper. "I feel safer because I can defend myself and I'm happy to be one of the first cabin crew to learn wing chun in the world."
(USA Today)

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