- “Passenger arrested for punching captain and grabbing his crotch.”
- “Drunk passenger tries to hijack plane.”
- “Lavatory smoking causes fight on aircraft, plane diverted.”
Unfortunately, these are true headlines, mostly resulting from incidences of air rage.
Apparently, altitudes and changes in air pressure can temporarily cause psychological changes in a person. If the passenger is drinking alcohol, the effects can be enhanced for the same reason. As a result, there have been other terrible and embarrassing air rage cases like:
- passengers defecating on food carts,
- beating up the crew (pinching, slapping, burning with cigarettes, attacking with broken wine bottle glasses), and
- trying to sexually assault their seat-neighbor.
A recent study by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department for Transport (UK) was published in the Daily Mail, and says that cases of air rage have increased four-fold over the past four years. Some startling facts from the report:
- From 2007-2008, there were 2,702 cases of air rage.
- 63% of incidents were caused by drunk passengers smoking.
- 78% of the cases involved male passengers.
- Incidents have increased by 20% in the past 12 months.
- The number of reported incidents of violence towards cabin crew nearly doubled from 2006/07 to 2007/08.
But the best (and most surprising) news? During 2007-08, no case was reported in which disruptive behavior contributed to an aviation accident.
Any sort of aggression and violence on air crafts is unacceptable, but how can they be controlled? Limit the service of alcohol? Re-introduce a smoker area on board? Hand out nicotine patches to smokers?
Luckily, other than the odd grumpy complaining passenger, I have never experienced a case of air rage. Have you? What happened? How was it handled? Tell us in the comments section!