Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
Incidents of ‘unruly behaviour’ on airlines rose sharply last year, according to data from IATA.
Almost 11,000 incidents were reported to the aviation body in 2015, with alcohol or drug use identified as a factor in 23 per cent of cases.
The figure of 10,854 is up from 9,316 in 2014. This equates to one incident for every 1,025 flights.
The figures showed the majority of incidents involved verbal abuse, failure to follow lawful crew instructions and “other forms of anti-social behaviour”. A proportion (11%) of reports indicated physical aggression towards passengers or crew or damage to the aircraft.
IATA said many of the cases involving alcohol happened without the knowledge of crew as it was consumed prior to boarding. Last month, airline Jet2 banned alcohol sales on all early-morning flights.
The organisation’s director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac wants more governments to ratify the Montreal Protocol 2014 – This helps “close gaps in the international legal framework dealing with unruly passengers”.
“Unruly and disruptive behaviour is simply not acceptable,” said de Juniac. "The anti-social behaviour of a tiny minority of customers can have unpleasant consequences for the safety and comfort of all on board. The increase in reported incidents tells us that more effective deterrents are needed.”
In some countries there has been a focus on the role of alcohol as a trigger for disruptive behaviour. Airlines already have strong guidelines and crew training on the responsible provision of alcohol. IATA is supporting initiatives, such as the code of practice pioneered in the UK, which includes a focus on prevention of intoxication and excessive drinking prior to boarding.
IATA is urging staff in airport bars and duty-free shops to be trained to serve alcohol responsibly and there is a need to avoid offers that encourage so-called ‘binge drinking’.
De Juniac added: “We need a balanced solution in which all stakeholders can collaborate. The industry’s core principles can help to manage the small percentage of passengers who abuse alcohol.”
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