Air and ground personnel get a lesson in psychology to help handle unruly passengers

Published: 18th March 2022

By: Lasse Hamre

The aviation industry has banded together to develop the course called Psychology In the Air and On the Ground. The goal is to strengthen the employees' competence in handling unruly passengers.

Aviation has been hard hit by the pandemic. Psychology In the Air and On the Ground will be available to everyone who is interested, both those who currently have a job and those who do not, but are interested in strengthening their skills.

There is a real need for this course. We work hard to ensure that flights are safe and comfortable experiences. The fact that our employees are gaining expertise in psychology is a benefit to each traveller they encounter. It contributes to the sense of safety and security throughout the journey.

Kenneth Utsikt, HSE Manager at Flyr

Unruly passengers are a threat to flight safety. They can also create nervousness and anxiety among other travellers. Challenging situations arise daily. The staff’s professionalism in these situations can have a real impact on the company’s reputation. Therefore, this is a course that has generated a lot of interest. The initiative is supported by both the management and the partners’ labour unions.

I myself have worked on the floor and know what it’s like to deal with passengers at their breaking point. Although we usually manage to calm them down, I missed out on knowing more about the psychology behind it. The goal of this course is to help deal with the situation effectively before it gets out of control. This will benefit all travellers.

Linn Munthe Kaas, Head of Administration at Menzies Aviation

“Psychology In the Air and On the Ground will be an engaging, digital course,” says Lasse Hamre, the learning expert with Task responsible for the project. “The participants will get to test out typical situations that can occur at the airport and in the cabin. By linking the psychological theory to practise, participants will expand their situational awareness and their ability to act appropriately. Psychology is also about recognising the passenger’s feelings and reactions in themselves. Therefore, we’re developing a workbook that the participants can use to reflect on what they have learned, with their own experiences as a starting point.”

“We will conduct physical meetings for the partners in the project,” says Krister Halck, subject expert and psychologist from Moment Consulting. “The participants will have the opportunity to try their hand at practical exercises and use the subject of psychology to reflect on their own and others’ behaviour.”

Task is developing the course in collaboration with Avinor, Flyr, Norwegian, Menzies Aviation, Avarn Security and psychologists from Moment Consulting. The course is developed with support from the Directorate for Higher Education and Competence, and will be ready to launch after the summer holidays in 2022.