air travel

Airplane Confrontations

Airplane Confrontations 357 241 Greg Ellifritz

I am seeing more and more cases of drunk/high/crazy people causing disturbances on flights.  It’s useful to prepare for such an altercation.


Here is an informative discussion about how the author handled a drunk and belligerent passenger seated next to him on the plane.  I personally would have changed seats.  You can’t escape a plane in the air.  Moving as far away from the drunk guy as possible shows your attempt to deescalate the situation.  If he presses the confrontation, he will be more clearly seen as the aggressor.


Do your best not to engage with the drunk and high people on your flight.  It’s not worth the aggravation.  Remember that protecting others on the flight isn’t your responsibility.  Get yourself out of the hot seat and let the flight attendants deal with his obnoxious behavior.


“The Gentleman In 23 B Is Drunk And Wants To Fight Me.”




Fighting in Airplanes

Fighting in Airplanes 800 521 Greg Ellifritz

I get lots of questions about self defense in airplanes and airports.  If you are interested in the topic, I commend the linked article to your attention.  In it, Michael Janich provides a long form article about close quarters fighting in airplanes.


The Unfriendly Skies




General Hotel Safety Tips

General Hotel Safety Tips 300 300 Greg Ellifritz

My friend Annette Evans has penned two excellent articles on travel safety in hotels and airports.  The information in these articles is valuable both if you are traveling out of the country or staying stateside.  Check out the articles linked below.


Travel safety: hotel and vacation rental edition

Thoughts on airport safety and security


New TSA Experience

New TSA Experience 946 2048 Greg Ellifritz

This was a new TSA experience for me…


On Friday I flew from Austin to Atlanta to teach classes at The Complete Combatant. I had to check two bags because of all the training aids I need for my classes. I checked in, dropped off the bags, and went to wait in the security line.


Preparing to go through security, I put my phone in my carry-on bag. When I cleared security, I pulled out my phone and found I had three missed calls from “US Government.” I called them back. It was the Austin airport TSA.


The officer told me that they had been trying to get into my bag to inspect it and were calling to get the combination to my luggage lock. He continued by saying “We got in. There’s no problem. Your bags are on the way and you are good to go.”


As a side note for you medical instructors Phokus wound cube wound packing simulators will ALWAYS get your bag inspected.


I arrived in Atlanta. Both bags arrived as well. Everything was great. Until I tried to get my medical gear out for class on Saturday morning. I tried my combination and the lock wouldn’t open.


I studied the lock and realized that it wasn’t my lock on the bag!


The TSA had broken my lock, checked my bag, and then put a new lock on my bag without telling me the combination. I tried all zeros. I tried 1-2-3-4. None of the common combinations worked. I had to break the lock with a pair of channel lock pliers to get in.


I’ve traveled a lot of places. That was the first time my stuff has been locked up with a different lock. I always carry a spare luggage lock, so I’m going to be fine when I fly home.


I often fly Delta, so I carry trauma shears in my carry-on to snip the zip ties Delta uses to close all bags with guns. Now I suppose I’ll have to start carrying lock breaking/picking tools as well.



Violent Airplane Passenger- When to Get Involved

Violent Airplane Passenger- When to Get Involved 240 135 Greg Ellifritz

Recent news has been full of stories about violent and out of control airline passengers.  It’s fairly common.  People get nervous about flying.  They often use alcohol and drugs to self medicate.  On my flight home from a training class last Monday, there was a passenger in first class (a white male in his mid 60s) who was so drunk he actually fell down on the jet bridge getting off the plane.


Other passengers become irate with crowded airports, regular delays, cancelled flights, and mask mandates.  They lose their shit and attack passengers and crew.


Take a look at the article below about the passenger trying to open the door and breach the cockpit in flight.  The airline crew beat him over the head with a coffee pot until fellow passengers restrained him.


Emergency Landing After American Airlines Crewmember Hit Erratic Passenger With Coffee Pot


What would you do if you were on the flight described above?


For me, I’m not getting involved if a passenger attacks another passenger or a crew member.  If I am attacked, I’m going to fight.  If the cockpit is attacked, I will fight.

I’m especially worried about the cockpit attack.  If the attacker crashes the plane, we all die.  I also worry that an armed pilot will fire on the attacker.  Where is his backstop?  That’s right, his backstop is all of us riding in the plane.  Less than ideal.  I’ll beat someone’s ass to prevent being hit by a miss or pass through bullet the pilot fires.

Plane Exercising

Plane Exercising 748 498 Greg Ellifritz

With plane seats getting smaller and smaller while airline delays skyrocket, it becomes more and more important to maintain circulation during your flight.  Twenty years ago, walking in the aisles was common.  Airline bathrooms were big enough to do a short workout routine.  Now bathrooms are too tiny to move and security concerns prohibit random walking.


While it has become more difficult to exercise on a plane, our culture has also become less fit.  Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis are now serious threats to the traveler’s health.  How does one stay healthy and mobile on a long flight?


The article below offers some very good options and is well worth your effort to read.


10 Simple Circulation Exercises You Can Do In Any Airplane Seat




Long Haul Flights

Long Haul Flights 645 363 Greg Ellifritz

Good advice for optimum comfort on a long haul flight.  I’ve made several 22+ hour flights to Asia and Africa, along with dozens of 10+ hour flights to South America.


My advice to you is to pay for the business class upgrade.  It’s worth the money.


How to Make the Best of a Long Haul Flight



Travel Apps

Travel Apps 690 388 Greg Ellifritz

This might be a useful app for those of you who spend a lot of time in foreign airports.  $1.99 is a good insurance policy if you don’t have a foreign data package and a long layover.


WiFox App Is A Continuously Updated Map Of Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Worldwide


Speaking of traveling Apps, this article gives you some unique alternatives to booking your accommodations on AirB&B.



Airport Security

Airport Security 113 300 Greg Ellifritz

A look at some of the varied security practices in airports around the world.  Not surprisingly, it concludes that more security doesn’t always keep you safer.


Does More Security at Airports Make Us Safer or Just Move the Targets?


If you are interested in airport security, you may also want to read Seven Ways to Stay Safe in Airports.

Traveling with Pets

Traveling with Pets 640 457 Greg Ellifritz

The rules with regards to traveling with your pet as an “emotional service animal” have recently changed.


This article explains everything you need to know about flying with your pets.


Flying With Pets? Read This Guide Before You Book Your Next Trip