Steep rise in air rage incidents


Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Incidents of “air rage” have almost trebled in the last three years with cases of passengers fighting cabin crew and each other.

In 2014 there were 114 instances of disruptive passengers on UK airlines and on foreign airlines operating in UK airspace, according to figures highlighted by The Times.

From the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the figure for 2014 compared with 85 instances in 2013, 47 in 2012 and 39 in 2011.

But despite the sharp rise in recent years, the problem is not as acute as it was in the late 1990s, the CAA said.

Incidents in 2014 included:

:: March 25 on a flight to Palma in Majorca a passenger stood up during the landing and assaulted another passenger;

:: On a June 16 flight a fight broke out on board, with the crew assaulted and police having to meet the plane on arrival;

:: A male passenger on a July 17 flight removed all his clothes and tried to open an aircraft door. He refused to don his clothes and was placed in a blanket away from other passengers;

:: On a December 9 flight a passenger consuming his own alcohol became abusive, attempted to light a cigarette and had to be restrained by four crew members using cuffs and straps. He remained loud, offensive and threatening until the plane landed;

:: On an April 16 flight about to leave Cancun in Mexico a passenger, who had been drinking, and a companion were ordered off the plane by the captain after becoming abusive and ripping a tray table from the seat. Ground crew had to be used to get the pair off.

:: On October 19 a passenger pushed her way on board and flatly refused to comply with any of a cabin crew or captain’s instructions and physically assaulted them both. Police escorted her from the plane;

:: On a January 21 flight two passengers threw hot coffee at each other after engaging in an argument over seating space. The two were separated and treated for burns. Police met the plane;

:: A February 2 flight involved a passenger physically assaulting a cabin crew member when asked to stop drinking and trying to light a pipe during the descent into land. The passenger was restrained by crew and two passengers with authorities meeting the plane.

A CAA spokesman said: “The number of incidents last year did rise but we have also seen an increase in the number of flights. Cabin crew are getting better trained to deal with incidents and could be reporting more of them.”

The spokesman added: “There is no excuse for rude or aggressive conduct by passengers towards cabin crew or fellow passengers on board aircraft. It is actually a specific criminal offence to be drunk on board an aircraft, and also to refuse to comply with instructions from the captain.

“We support UK airlines’ efforts to deal with disruptive passengers to ensure the safety of all those on board, and welcome criminal prosecutions where appropriate.”

Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015 by The News Editor

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