Being a flight attendant certainly has its perks. After all, visiting every corner of the globe is in your job description. However, the life of a flight attendant isn’t always as glamourous as it’s cracked up to be.
Flight attendants face plenty of industry hazards. Scary situations like turbulence and hostile passengers aren’t the only dangers affecting flight attendants on a daily basis. Poor air quality in the cabin is a serious problem, and recently, reports have surfaced that flight attendants are regularly exposed to toxic fumes.
Recently, Boeing made headlines when flight attendants filed a lawsuit against the plane manufacturer. After a battle that began in 2007, the lead plaintiff finally reached a settlement with Boeing for their role in her exposure to toxic fumes. The lasting effects of the nasty contaminants derailed her life. She suffered from debilitating headaches, frightening tremors, and even memory loss.
A group of Alaska Airlines flight attendants later filed a suit against Boeing with similar complaints, yet despite the fact that Boeing had settled with the lead plaintiff, the manufacturer denied the Alaska Airlines attendants’ claims.
Toxic fumes are not an isolated issue
Boeing and Alaska Airlines aren’t the only offenders. Air quality in planes has been an ongoing problem, and it has the most profound effect on the flight attendants who are exposed to toxic fumes day after day. The design of planes like those made by Boeing and Airbus allows engine fumes to seep into the cabin due to ventilation known as a “bleed air system.” Even a minor oil leak can severely contaminate the air within the cabin, causing alarming symptoms like nausea, disorientation, and loss of consciousness.
Flight attendants from all over the US and Europe have expressed concerns for years, but have been consistently dismissed by airlines and plane manufacturers. An even greater number are afraid that speaking out might cost them their jobs.
The response, or lack thereof, from airlines and plane manufacturers is discouraging to those seeking recourse for their exposure to toxic fumes. Though the bleed air systems and resultant complaints of illness have been ongoing for decades, airlines and aircraft manufacturers are dismissive of workers who come forward. They claim that it is impossible to simulate cabin conditions and reproduce the circumstances leading to the contamination, so in the face of inconclusive research, the official response is often, “There is nothing wrong with the air quality.” Flight attendants who have been sickened by these hazardous conditions are left with no choice but to pursue other avenues to having their claims addressed.
Since 1999, the Bollinger Law Firm has worked tirelessly to protect employees from workplace hazards, and to help victims of workplace injuries and illnesses seek fair compensation and justice. Our team of seasoned lawyers has experience with all types of workers’ compensation claims and is passionate about seeking satisfactory results for all of our clients.