4 Strategies to Avoid COVID-Related Conflicts With Fellow Air Travelers

Available for Interviews: Carol Barkes


Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a conflict resolution expert, mediator, national speaker, educator and bestselling author who uniquely applies neuroscience to the fields of conflict resolution and negotiations. Her expert perspective is always fresh and relevant.

Talking Points from Carol Barkes on what she can say in an interview
on Conflict Resolution and  Travelers Who Do Not Follow the Rules

Stress and anxiety has been sky-high over the last several months, and this couldn’t be more true at 10,000 feet, too. If you must use air travel the following advice will help flyers avoid unnecessary problems.

“If we are flying, we are in the position to
be in close proximity to a potential hostile traveler—
if we do not handle this well.” –Carol Barkes

4 Strategies on How to Optimize Your Air Travel Experience and Stay Safe

 1. If you encounter a passenger not following the rules, engage the flight crew and ask them to intervene on your behalf. All airlines have policies and the easiest approach will be to utilize the legitimate power of the flight crew and have them say something to the passenger.

 2. You can also be asked to be moved to a different seat. Moving yourself away from the problematic passenger is another strategy that can help you avoid conflict altogether.

 3. Beyond that, you have to manage yourself and follow the proper safety protocols: Wear a mask (a good, secure one), bring sanitizing wipes to use on your seat and area, and remember to bring your hand sanitizer—use it before, during, and after your flight(s).

If You Choose to Confront
Another Traveler, here’s how

 4. The best way to confront another passenger is to avoid criticism and instead share a complaint about the process. For instance, you want to refrain from saying, “You are being reckless. Get that *&#$ mask on!” Instead, try saying, “I can see that you are not in alignment with the mask rules. I absolutely respect your views and I, unfortunately, have reasons why I need to wear one and really also need others to do the same. Might you please consider moving to a different seat (or away) and/or putting on a mask? I know it is super-inconvenient and I would really appreciate your consideration of my request.” This strategy makes it about you rather than them, and it also doesn’t attack them. They may grumble but most people will move away. If they do so because they think you are crazy or because they acknowledge your concern really doesn’t matter; you accomplished your goal.

Interviews: Carol Barkes

Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs: Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Secrets for Breaking Through to Success.

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.

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