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Violent anti-maskers make ‘living nightmare’ for flight attendants

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DeeDee dreamed of being a flight attendant when she was a little girl and has been in the high-flying profession for nearly two decades. But now the 58-year-old says she sometimes struggles to get out of bed and go to work.

“I’m afraid of the viciousness I’ll face from the passengers,” said the widow and mom of two, who declined to share her full name or current employer for privacy purposes.

Outrage over COVID-19 safety guidelines and a recent increase in flight delays and cancellations, mixed with alcohol intake, are fueling a surge in passenger brutality against flight crews. A recent Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) survey of 5,000 members found that 85 percent of flight attendants have been confronted by rowdy airline travelers this year, 58 percent have experienced at least five incidents of disorderly conduct and a whopping 17 percent have even been physically attacked.

“Work is a living nightmare,” said DeeDee.

Although the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enacted a Zero Tolerance Policy on Jan. 13, vowing legal action and a fine of up to $37,000 against anyone who assaults, threatens, intimidates or interferes with airline crew members, violence against flight attendants has persisted. 

The FAA has received a staggering 4,498 reports of unruly passengers attacking in-flight support staffers since the dawn of 2021. More than 800 brutality investigations have been initiated this year — double the amount launched in 2019 and 2020 combined. 

It’s gotten so bad, that more and more flight attendants are enrolling in industry self-defense courses. The training, which is led by federal air marshals, was mandatory after 9/11 but later became voluntary and had limited enrollment. Now, it’s been rebooted and more and more crew members are opting in.

Flight attendants Cierra and Kelly reveal their unruly passenger horror stories.
Cierra (left) says she’s mentally exhausted by the fear of being attacked by unruly passengers, and Kelly has been called a “b–ch” on the job.
courtesy

“This should send a message to the public that these events are serious and flight attendants are there to ensure and direct the safety and security of everyone in the plane,” said Sara Nelson, president of the AFA.

Over 3,200 of the injurious incidents were in direct relation to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) federal mask mandate. The order demands that passengers wear face coverings for the duration of their flight to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“No one wants to wear their masks, and when I ask them to, they call me names like ‘bitch’ and ‘dumb a – -,’ ” said Kelly, a 25-year-old commercial flight attendant of seven years. “Work has definitely become more dangerous for flight attendants since it’s become safer for people to travel again.”

The Texas native, who began her career as a flight crew member at age 18, shared footage on TikTok last month of herself tearfully stumbling home after being verbally demeaned at work. It went viral, but she later removed it from her public profile.

“I was used to having to deal with an uncooperative passenger every once in a while, but now everyone is just so rude and hostile,” said Kelly, who declined to give her full name because of her company’s media policy. “The other day a guy ripped off his mask and burped right in my face.”

While things were never this bad before, Kelly did experience occasional turbulence with inappropriate passengers long before the global pandemic.

Years ago, a drunk male passenger smacked her rear end and attempted to grope her breasts during a flight from Dallas, Texas, to Louisville, Kentucky. The man ultimately avoided any legal repercussions. 

“A lot of attendants are sexual assaulted,” said Kelly, who ultimately hopes to become a pilot. More recently, she has received messages from passengers who memorize her name in order to find her on Facebook and ask to buy her used pantyhose.

“People don’t realize that we’re educated and hard-working humans,” she said with a sigh. “We’re looked at like a piece of meat or an easy target for abuse.”

Flight attendant and verified TikTok influencer Cierra, 27, concurred. “We’re treated like animals,” said Cierra, who opted not to disclose her last name due to her airline’s protocols, told The Post.

Flight attendants take self-defense training with the TSA in New Jersey.
Flight attendants take self-defense training with the TSA in New Jersey.
TSA

The New York transplant from Indiana ditched her six-year post as a marine mammal caretaker to become a flight attendant in early 2020, right before the pandemic erupted. 

“My friends always joke that becoming a flight attendant as soon as COVID hit should have been a sign that flight attending might not be the career for me,” Cierra said laughing. “I just wish passengers understood that the rules we have to enforce is to ensure their safety, not because we’re looking for a fight or to piss them off.”

While she’s avoided being physically assaulted so far, the looming threat of violence weighs heavily on her psyche. She can’t stop thinking about an incident in May in which a passenger ambushed a Southwest attendant, who ultimately lost two teeth in the assault.

“We’re the only airline employees that have to worry about getting our teeth knocked out for telling someone to put their mask on or to fasten their seat belts,” Cierra said.

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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