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Wednesday 7 June 2023

More dickheads are flying than ever before

There was a big increase in unruly airline passenger incidents involving physical abuse last year.

While still relatively rare, the rate jumped by 61% in 2022, the International Air Transport Association says.

IATA released new analysis showing there was one non-violent unruly incident reported every 568 flights in 2022, up from one per 835 flights in 2021.

The most common causes were non-compliance, verbal abuse and intoxication.

Physical abuse incidents occurred once every 17,200 flights.

“The increasing trend of unruly passenger incidents is worrying," said Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Deputy Director General.

 "Passengers and crew are entitled to a safe and hassle-free experience. 

“There is no excuse for not following the instructions of the crew.”

Non-compliance incidents initially fell after mask mandates were removed on most flights, Travel Mole reported.

The frequency began to rise again throughout 2022, however, and ended the year 37% up on 2021.

The most common examples of non-compliance were smoking or vaping in the cabin or toilets, failure to fasten seatbelts and passengers drinking their own alcohol on board.

IATA called on governments to ensure there is the necessary legal mechanism to prosecute unruly passengers.

“The vast majority of intoxication incidents occur from alcohol consumed prior to the flight,” it said.

“The support of airport bars and restaurants to ensure responsible consumption is particularly important.

“We all have a responsibility to behave with respect for other passengers and the crew.”

Image: Erica Vigilante, 

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