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Thursday 12 January 2017

Time for airlines to crack down on unruly passengers

There seem to be more and more instances of airline passengers behaving obnoxiously.

Overnight a "family" was kicked off a Jetstar flight for reportedly refusing to take their allocated seats - and occupying those of other passengers.

Two of the fathers were reportedly angry because they had not been allocated seats with the rest of the group. This happens. Not everyone can get the seat they want every time they fly.

If it is important they can try to book the seats they want in advance (perhaps paying a premium), or plead their case at check-in. If the crew say it can't be done, tough luck. Couples are often separated, even on long-haul flights - and it is more likely to happen on low-cost carriers.

Jetstar stated the family had taken other passengers' seats in an attempt to stay together and refused to move when confronted. If that is so, they did absolutely the right thing in removing them from the flight.

It is lucky that one of the passengers whose seat was being occupied by these miscreants did not elect to take the law into their own hands.

And if the airlines to do not crack down hard, as Jetstar did, then we will see more and more of these entitled fools inconveniencing other passengers, delaying flights or causing anguished fellow flyers to lash out at them.

Any time someone doesn't like the seat they are allocated and sits, instead, in the seat of a fellow passenger, they should be removed from the seat, thrown off the plane and told to buy another ticket. No ifs, no buts. There should also be a register of repeat offenders. 

There was also a recent mid-air incident, also on Jetstar, where punches were allegedly thrown and fellow passengers were forced to intervene. The people involved should have been charged when the flight landed. You cannot behave differently in the sky to the way that you would on the ground.  

If a passenger is being drunk and obnoxious then they should be thrown off the flight if it is still on the ground, or restrained if in the air. Why should other passengers have their enjoyment destroyed, or feel threatened?

The recent case of a young woman who had a drunk making obscene suggestions and groping her was a case in point. And if the crew are not capable of restraining an unruly passenger, how would they be capable of dealing with a terrorist? And we are told that they are.

So well done Jetstar and let's see more prompt action as a deterrent to airborne bogans who think they are above the law.

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