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Every month in Europe, one flight is forced to land urgently due to disruptive passengers. European authorities and companies go on the offensive, especially against drunk passengers.
Every 3 hours in Europe, the safety of a flight is endangered by unruly or even aggressive travelers towards cabin crew and other passengers. This striking statistic was revealed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which added that these incidents lead to an emergency landing of the aircraft concerned at least once a month.
These incidents continue to increase according to EASA, which reported a 34% increase in on-board disruptions last year compared to 2017. The agency reports more than 1,000 incidents per year involving drunk passengers. The worst part is, according to EASA, 72% of incidents result in physical assaults. Not to mention the passengers smoking in the toilets, another classic that never goes away.
To stop these disruptions, EASA and IATA are launching an awareness campaign called “Not On My Flight”. “The campaign draws attention to examples of unruly behavior and the consequences passengers face,” explains EASA.
In concrete terms, EASA has set up a mini-site with a humorous video featuring, among other things, “Flying Mojito”, a hilarious and quite drunk passenger. The video also has fun comparing the plane to a nightclub, with a bouncer who expels the troublemakers who want to turn the Flight Club into a Fight Club…
The agency also calls on airlines to apply zero tolerance on board. Currently, about 20 airlines are following the movement, including Easyjet, KLM, Norwegian, Ryanair and Wizz Air. On the other hand, there is no trace of Air France, Lufthansa and British Airways in the list.
The judges also have a heavy hand in dealing with incidents on board. On April 4, a British lawyer was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment by a London court for assaulting an Air India steward who refused to serve her alcohol on a flight from Mumbai to London when she was already drunk.
Information duly relayed by IATA: “It is good to see that the courts are taking the issue of unruly passengers seriously”, comments the organization.