Eyewitness News experiences a JetBlue flight

August 11, 2010 3:25:14 AM PDT
Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues boarded a JetBlue flight to see what the experience is really like for passengers and employees.

"Trying to catch the 656 to Syracuse it leaves at 12:40," Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues said.

Before you board a plane, even on an average day, the lines can be long at John F. Kennedy Airport's JetBlue Terminal.

"Running to get on the plane," Pegues said.

Air travelers have come to expect the long lines, but it's still frustrating.

"You're always waiting, you're always waiting. It's a whole day process traveling," said passenger, Nick Penizotto.

Sometimes, that frustration can turn into rage.

It's a situation that Steven Slater's arrest has brought into focus for passengers and flight attendant's on board the JetBlue plane Eyewitness News took to Syracuse.

"It's a hard job, they take their lives in their hands every day," said passenger, Deborah Sephton.

The flight attendants Eyewitness News saw Tuesday, on the plane and in the terminals would not comment on camera, but off camera it was a different story.

When one male flight attendant was asked whether the job was stressful, he stopped and said, "Absolutely, the job is stressful."

The problem in part is the passengers.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration

Unruly passenger incidents rose steadily through 2004 when they peaked at 304, last year the number was down considerably to 134.

Industry experts chalk the figures up to changes in the commercial aviation industry that may be taking a toll on passengers and flight attendants.

For example, added security measures.

Plus, airlines are flying smaller planes and fewer planes between cities.

Those three things translate into crowded airports and packed planes, as well a shorter fuse.

"I have seen a flight attendant get annoyed at a passenger on a flight. The passenger was acting, out of control," said passenger Sherry Giaconia.

Still, with more than 10 million commercial jets in the skies over the US every year, unruly passengers and even flight attendants remain a rare occurrence.

Travelers Bill and Ellen carter say they believe air travel has changed and not in a good way.

They say flying is not as much fun as it used to be, and say flying the friendly skies is a thing of the past.