In a drastic rise post pandemic, one unruly passenger incident was reported for every 568 flights last year compared to one such incident per 835 flights in 2021, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said at the AGM in Istanbul. The number of such incidents was one per 835 flights in 2021.
Speaking to CNN-News18, IATA Deputy Director General Conrad Clifford said, “The increasing trend of unruly passenger incidents is worrying. Passengers and crew are entitled to a safe and hassle-free experience on board. For that, passengers must comply with crew instructions. While our professional crew is well-trained to manage unruly passenger scenarios, it is unacceptable that rules in place for everyone’s safety are disobeyed by a small, but persistent minority of passengers. There is no excuse for not following the instructions of the crew.”
“The most common categorisations of incidents in 2022 were non-compliance, verbal abuse and intoxication. Physical abuse cases have increased 61% over 2021,” he added.
He also spoke about regulation and implementation of the Montreal Protocol 2014, highlighting how the airline crew should not be restricted by jurisdiction. “In the face of rising unruly incidents, governments and the industry are taking more serious measures to prevent them. States are ratifying MP14 and reviewing enforcement measures, sending a clear message of deterrence by showing that they are ready to prosecute unruly behavior. In the industry, there is greater collaboration. For example, as the vast majority of intoxication incidents occur from alcohol consumed prior to the flight, the support of airport bars and restaurants to ensure the responsible consumption of alcohol is particularly important.”
“No one wants to stop people from having a good time when they go on holiday, but we all have a responsibility to behave with respect for other passengers and the crew. For the sake of the majority, we make no apology for seeking to crack down on the bad behavior of a tiny number of travelers who can make a flight very uncomfortable for everyone else,” Clifford added.
On May 31, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said it is focussing on supporting cabin crew members dealing with unruly and disruptive passengers on board aircraft.
ICAO is also developing additional guidance to manage unruly passenger events, in the post-pandemic environment and to best equip crew members to respond to emerging issues.
Meanwhile, talking about the Indian aviation market, Clifford said there is so much growth and it is a “very exciting and exceptionally strong market”.
IATA is a grouping of around 300 airlines comprising 83 per cent of the global air traffic.
With PTI Inputs