Flight attendants across the U.S. are taking self-defense classes and learning to fight back against unruly passengers. Certified Air Marshal instructors are teaching them tactical ways to defend themselves.
Federal Air Marshal Service Dallas Supervisory Air Marshal in Charge Byron Irby says:
"We feel it's very vital for them to feel comfortable in the incidents they are dealing with on the aircrafts, the various assaults, and things of that nature.
As of October 2001, the FAA says there have been 4,724 reports of unruly passengers.
Irby says the classes teach flight attendants a variety of ways to protect themselves:
"It's not just about putting hands on someone. It's to help them get through a situation that may call for them not to put hands on an individual. But if they do in turn have to defend themselves, we want them to be prepared."
Irby says being prepared is important. The TSA says the classes are free and are available to all flight attendants.