Cape Town — A global airline trade group said that incidents of unruly passengers on planes are increasing, and more effective deterrents are needed to tackle the problem.
There were 10 854 air rage incidents reported by airlines worldwide last year, up from 9 316 incidents in 2014, according to the International Air Transport Association. That equates to one incident for every 1 205 flights, an increase from one incident per 1 282 flights the previous year.
A majority of incidents involved verbal abuse, failure to follow crew instructions and other anti-social behavior. Eleve% included physical aggression toward passengers or crew or damage to the plane. Alcohol or drugs were a factor in 23% of the cases, although in the majority of incidents the drugs or alcohol was consumed prior to boarding, the association said.
Training staff in airport bars and duty-free shops to sell alcohol responsibly, including avoiding offers that encourage binge drinking, can cut incidents by half, the association said, citing an initiative by Monarch Airlines at London's Gatwick Airport.
Airlines also want more countries to ratify a 2014 treaty that closes gaps in laws for dealing with unruly passengers. So far, only six countries have ratified the pact.
"More are needed in order to have a consistent global approach to this issue," said Alexandre de Juniac, the association's director general.
In a recent incident on Emirates Airlines, an Italian lawyer is suing the airline for the ‘misery’ for being seated next to an obese man on a nine-hour flight from Cape Town to Dubai. Though the general stance is that body shaming passengers has never been the proper way to deal with these types of situations, especially when one or the other decides to go public with the incident... it may verge on 'unruly passenger behaviour'.
A number of plus-sized passengers in the past have offered to pay for more than one seat to avoid these situations that may result in passengers behaving unruly.
SEE: Passenger sues Emirates for sitting next to 'obese' man for 9-hour flight from Cape Town
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