Airlines Say Air Rage is Taking Off

The skies aren't always that friendly today.

By Paul Riegler on 28 September 2016
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The number of misbehaving passengers in the air is on the rise.

The International Air Transport Association, an industry group, said that there has been a 16% increase or 10,854 incidents involving unruly passengers in 2015, up from 9,316 in 2014.

The types of incidents reported by the world’s airlines include verbal abuse of crewmembers, failure to follow lawful crew instructions, and what IATA termed “other forms of anti-social behavior.”

Not surprisingly, alcohol or drugs figured in 23% of reported cases and 11% had to do with either “physical aggression” towards other passengers or cabin crewmembers or damage to the aircraft.

Some incidents have gone viral, including a recent video of an American Airlines pilot tackling a passenger after he refused to remain seated while on taxi to the gate in Charlotte. “You don’t put your hands on my flight attendant!” the pilot was heard yelling in the video after the situation had escalated.

More recently, a couple in China tried to stop a plane from departing by standing on the tarmac under the plane, suitcases in hand, when they arrived after boarding had ended.

“The anti-social behavior of a tiny minority of customers can have unpleasant consequences for the safety and comfort of all on board,” said Alexandre de Juniac, the organization’s CEO,” adding that “more effective deterrents are needed.”

Airlines also want more countries to ratify the Montreal Protocol of 2014 that would close gaps in laws for dealing with unruly passengers. So far, only six countries – Bahrain, Congo, Dominican Republic, Gabon, Guyana, and Jordan – have ratified the pact.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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