Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Flight Attendants Learn Kung Fu to Deal With Unruly Passengers

Hong Kong Airlines has issued mandatory kung fu lessons for its cabin crews in an effort to deal with drunk and unruly passengers. Fight attendants are schooled in wing chun martial arts – which is close-range combat involving striking and grappling (video below). The practice may seem strange to some, but the airline points out that it has to deal with around three incidents involving disruptive passengers every week, according to Eva Chan, the carrier's deputy general manager of corporate communication. Two weeks ago a flight attendant's martial arts training came into focus when she was forced to deal with a drunk passenger on a flight from Beijing to Hong Kong. "One of the passengers was sick but he was probably drunk and felt unwell. The crew member attended to him and she realised her fitness was helping her, especially because the guy was quite heavy," Eva told the Sunday Morning Post. "Normally, a female cabin crew can't handle a fat guy, especially if he's drunk, but because of the training, she can handle it quite easily." A crew member adds: "You cannot predict what will happen on the plane, so wing chun is good because it's so fast. I feel safer because I can defend myself and I'm really happy to be one of the first cabin crew to learn wing chun in the world." Wing chun instructor Katherine Cheung said the martial art was ideal for airline crews. "Wing chun can be used in small, confined spaces so it's suited for an airplane," she said. "It's easy to learn but difficult to master."

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