Your checklist for airplane travel this holiday season: High quality, comfortable mask; hand sanitizer; early airport arrival; an easy to remove jacket, shoes, laptop and toiletries for the security checkpoint. Yet according to flight attendants, pre-planning may not prepare you for the full reality of flying in 2021 -- and it's not just Covid-19. "You may have seen news reports on the disruptive passengers or conflicts on board airlines this year," said Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents some 50,000 flight attendants at 17 airlines.
"There have been more than 5,000 disruptive passenger reports sent to the Federal Aviation Administration since the start of this year," Nelson said. "That's more disruptions in 2021 than the entire 31-year history of recording such behaviors. And we're not even done with the year yet!" And some passengers are facing hefty fines and possibly prosecution. CNN spoke to Nelson about what fight attendants want us to know about disruptive passengers -- and more -- before we board a plane to visit friends and relatives for the holidays. This conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.