June 17, 2015

Richard Gomez, MedAire’s vice president of aviation education products worldwide, encourages all flight crewmembers to be prepared for the reality of traveling globally, and that includes knowing how to stay safe when abroad.

“Personal security is a personal responsibility,” said Gomez. “Your company can provide security training and research hotels, but it’s really about personal security awareness.”

Gomez encourages a three-phased approach: prepare, travel, respond. Following this model, crewmembers should prepare by first researching destinations. The travel phase involves being aware of potential risks associated with your destination and managing those risks. Finally, flight crewmembers should know how to respond to security threats.

Flight crewmembers may be more vulnerable to security threats for many reasons, including their access to large assets and unfamiliarity with the local area at their destination, he said.

“Crewmembers often become complacent because traveling to unfamiliar areas is just part of their normal routine,” said Gomez. “For example, crewmembers often share their room number with their colleagues in public in the hotel lobby. With a little more awareness, it is possible to be less conspicuous in your behavior, attire and so on.”

Gomez, along with international security expert Walid Phares, will discuss security threats and provide key tips for layover safety and personal travel security at the upcoming Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians Conference (FAFT2015), set for June 30 to July 2 at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, AZ. Their session, titled, “Smart Traveler – Crewmembers, Are They Prepared for the Reality of the Global Environment?” will be presented at 3:15 p.m. on July 2.

Learn more about FAFT2015.