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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Attendants call for film boycott
Jodie Foster with other Flightplan cast members
Flightplan is currently flying high at the US box office
Flight attendant unions in the US have asked members to boycott new thriller Flightplan, saying it depicts in-flight personnel as "unhelpful and uncaring".

In the film, currently topping the US box office chart, Jodie Foster plays a mother who loses her child on a plane.

But her attempts to locate her daughter are stymied by sceptical airline staff.

"This disrespect to our profession is not going to fly," said Patricia Friend, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA).

"Flight attendants continue to be the first line of defence on an aircraft and put their lives on the line day after day for the safety of passengers.

"This unfair characterisation undermines the image we project as first responders."

The AFA represents more than 46,000 flight attendants at 22 US airlines.

'Insensitive'

Ms Friend's comments have been echoed by Tommie Hutto-Blake, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA).

"The portrayal of flight attendants in this movie demonstrates an insensitive and flagrant disregard for the very real challenges facing the front line of defence on any aircraft in an emergency situation," she said.

Jodie Foster and Peter Sarsgaard in Flightplan
Peter Sarsgaard (right) plays a federal air marshal on Foster's flight
If the events of 11 September 2001 were ever repeated, he added, "it would be critical for the cabin crew to have the support of their passengers, not the distrust this movie may engender".

The APFA represents more than 23,000 American Airlines flight attendants.

In Flightplan, Foster's character receives some assistance from the airplane's captain, played by Sean Bean, and a US federal air marshal, played by Peter Sarsgaard.

The film, which opens in the UK on 25 November, made $24.6m (13.9m) on its first weekend on release in the US.




SEE ALSO:
Foster's Flightplan tops US chart
26 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
Probe into cabin crew drink claim
03 Nov 04 |  Manchester
Extract: 'We have some planes'
23 Jul 04 |  Americas


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