Air rage

Summary

Air rage is aggressive or violent behavior on the part of passengers and crew of aircraft, especially during flight.[1][2] Air rage generally covers both behavior of a passenger or crew member that is likely caused by physiological or psychological stresses associated with air travel,[3] and when a passenger or crew member becomes unruly, angry, or violent on an aircraft during a flight.[4] Excessive consumption of alcohol is often a cause.[5]

Landing to disembark the troublemaker cannot usually be done quickly and causes great delays to passengers. However, unlike large ships, there is insufficient room on board to hold the offender in an isolated area until arrival. Therefore, diversions or unscheduled stops do occur because of air rage.

Examples of air rage behavior include failure to follow safety regulations or behaving in a way that gives suspicion of a threat to flight safety.[2][6][7]

An airline passenger's uncontrolled anger is usually expressed in aggressive or violent behavior in the passenger compartment,[8] but air rage can have serious implications, especially if the offender decides to interfere with the aircraft's navigation or flight controls.[7] Generally, such passengers are not at risk of committing terrorist acts, but since the September 11 attacks, such incidents have been taken more seriously due to increased awareness of terrorism.[9]

HistoryEdit

The first case of air rage was recorded in 1947 on a flight from Havana to Miami, when a drunk man assaulted another passenger and a flight attendant.[10] Another early documented case involved a flight in Alaska in 1950.[11]

At the time, applicable jurisdiction was unclear, so offenders often escaped punishment. It wasn't until the 1963 Tokyo Convention that laws of the country where the aircraft is registered were agreed to take precedence.[12]

Air rage events have increased since International Air Transport Association (IATA) started collecting data on disruptive passenger behavior in 2007.[13] No definite explanation for that trend has been established; possible explanations include heightened anxiety for one's safety and irritation with invasive security.[14]

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, an uptick in air rage has been noted by media outlets and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Most incidents involve the mandated use of face masks or covering under federal law, resulting in attacks on other passengers or airline personnel.[15][16]

CausesEdit

Stressful situations, such as jet lag, flight delays, or other difficult or annoying passengers or crew members in one's vicinity, can lead passengers and crew members to an increased likelihood of becoming agitated and air rage. Passengers who are afraid of flying can easily panic.

Some research suggests that visible inequality between seat classes on flights (first class, business class, economy class) may be responsible for an increase in air rage incidents. [17]

It is also suggested by some experts that the primary cause of air rage is the deterioration of economy class amenities and seating space over recent decades.[18]

Air rage can be the result of a combination of factors. For example, a person who is already afraid of flying can be tipped over the edge by an overuse of alcohol, medication, a stressful situation, nicotine withdrawal,[19] or disruptive behavior from others.

The availability of alcoholic beverages on airlines and at airports enables passengers and crew members to drink excessively before and during flights. Flight attendants have the ability to keep track of how many drinks are served to passengers while on board an aircraft, and are required by many countries to refuse further drinks to passengers who appear intoxicated, but have no way of knowing how many are consumed prior to boarding. An analysis of online media reports relating to air rage incidents occurring between 2000 and 2020 found that the United States and the United Kingdom were the most frequent countries of origin for the 228 cases found, with 127 cases involving alcohol consumption.[19] According to one study by the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU), half of all air rage incidents on Western airlines involve alcohol.[20]

Markus Schuckert, a co-author of the study, told SCMP that on Asian airlines, where air rage incidents are rarer, the air rage incidents that do occur arise from inexperience and lack of knowledge about the restrictions involved. In China, where Schuckert described some incidents of air rage as "legendary" due to pictures or video posted on social media, some passengers have been known to do things like open cabin doors while the plane was taxiing to let hot air out, or throw coins in the engines for good luck.[20][21]

Sometimes, passengers are disruptive by failing to obey laws and rules that must be observed or arguing with flight attendants.[9]

It is also possible in some cases, due to the fact that crew members have sole discretion to determine whether a passenger is being disruptive, that some incidents may be caused or exacerbated by intolerant or confrontational behavior on the part of crew members. For example, in 2020, the cabin crew of an American Airlines flight called the police on a "disruptive" passenger who complained that some airline employees had not been wearing COVID masks.[22]

TraitsEdit

Air rage generally covers both behavior of a passenger or airline employee on the aircraft or more generally speaking at the airport:

  • Violent, aggressive or disruptive behaviour.[4][23][24][3][7]
  • Threatening flight safety, crew members or passengers.[2][6][7][25][26]
  • Behaving in a way that gives suspicion of a threat to flight safety.[2][6][7]
  • Failure to follow safety regulations.[2][6][7]
  • Claiming to have a bomb on the flight or saying they are a terrorist with malignant intent.

Other related behavior that may interfere with the comfort of cabin crew or passengers include smoking on board the flight, viewing pornographic materials, performing sex acts ("mile high" club) in the aircraft cabin, making undue sexual advances towards other people, performing sex acts in the lavatory, the inappropriate groping and touching of crew members, loud or drunken behaviors, spitting, swearing, and wearing clothing that is inappropriate or offensive.[27]

Handling air rageEdit

Extremely unruly passengers or crew members who must be restrained are restrained using a variety of methods. Some airlines carry flexcuffs for this purpose. Others use seatbelts, adhesive tape, neckties, shoe laces, or whatever is available on the aircraft. While the United States does not allow passengers to actually be confined to the seat or any other part of the aircraft,[citation needed] and only allows their individual body parts to be restrained, other countries, such as Iceland, do allow tying an unruly passenger to the seat.

Sometimes a flight must be diverted to allow an aircraft to dispose itself of the offender as soon as possible.[9]

ConsequencesEdit

In the United States, passengers who disrupt the duties of a flight crew member can face fines up to $25,000 and sometimes lengthy prison sentences. In addition, the airline can choose to ban the problem passenger from any future flights.[9]

In Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority reserves the right to use stun guns to subdue unruly passengers.[28]

In Canada the Pilot-in-Command (Captain) of the aircraft is designated as a Peace Officer under the Criminal Code and as such, have the same powers of arrest as a Police Officer. The Pilot-in-Command is authorized to enforce all sections of the Criminal Code and all Acts of Parliament while the aircraft is in flight.[29]

With the number of unlawful acts committed on airplanes in South Korea more than tripling from 2011 to 2016, Korean Air Lines issued guidelines allowing crew members to use stun guns on violent passengers and banning those with a history of unruly behavior.[30]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Thomas, Andrew R. (2001). Air Rage: Crisis in the Skies. Amherst, NY: Prometheus. ISBN 9781573929172.
  2. ^ a b c d e "air rage – Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online". Ldoceonline.com. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b "What is air rage? definition and meaning". BusinessDictionary.com. Archived from the original on 25 July 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b "air rage Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". dictionary.cambridge.org. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  5. ^ "air rage definition – English dictionary for learners – Reverso". dictionary.reverso.net. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d "Nyheder 24 timer i døgnet – seneste nyt – jp – jyllands-posten.dk". jp.dk. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Flight Stress – How to Beat It – Flight Health". www.flighthealth.org. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Definition of AIR RAGE". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d "How often are unruly airline passengers kicked off flights?- The Daily Dose - MSN Living". 14 November 2013. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  10. ^ Hunter, Joyce A (2009). Anger in the Air: Combating the Air Rage Phenomenon. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 9781409485988.
  11. ^ Rolfe, Peter (2000). "Air Rage: Disruptive Passengers. The Causes and Cures" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Convention on offences and certain other acts committed on board aircraft" (PDF). Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  13. ^ Street, Francesca (3 December 2019). "Outrage in the skies: Are airline passengers getting more unruly?". CNN. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  14. ^ Grinberg, Emanuella (1 June 2012). "Air rage: Passengers Quicker to Snap". CNN. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  15. ^ Marcus, Jon (15 June 2021). "'You're on your own up there': The rise of air rage in the era of COVID". Boston Globe. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  16. ^ Johanson, Mark (29 June 2021). "What's driving the US air-rage spike?". BBC News. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  17. ^ DeCelles, Katherine; Norton, Michael (30 March 2016). "Physical and situational inequality on airplanes predicts air rage" (PDF). statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu. New York City. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  18. ^ Johanson, Mark (29 June 2021). "What's driving the US air-rage spike?". BBC. London: BBC. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  19. ^ a b Coyle, Daniel J.; Smith, Michael M.; Flaherty, Gerard T. (1 September 2021). "Descriptive analysis of air rage incidents aboard international commercial flights, 2000–2020". Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Galway, Ireland. 11: 100418. doi:10.1016/j.trip.2021.100418. ISSN 2590-1982 – via ScienceDirect.
  20. ^ a b Heaver, Stuart (26 May 2019). "Air rage: how it differs in West and East, and why Chinese passengers are in a league of their own". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  21. ^ Pauline Ngan (27 August 2019). "Surviving the Air Travel Stress Test" (PDF). School of Hotel and Tourism Management. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 February 2022.
  22. ^ Coffey, Helen (25 November 2020). "AMERICAN AIRLINES PASSENGER MET BY POLICE AFTER COMPLAINING THAT CABIN CREW HADN'T WORN MASKS". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 November 2020. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  23. ^ "Air Rage meaning , Definition of air rage, what is air rage". www.definition-of.net. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  24. ^ http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861668862/air_rage.html Archived 28 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "air rage (noun) definition and synonyms – Macmillan Dictionary". www.macmillandictionary.com. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  26. ^ Bleach, Stephen (16 March 2008). "Ten ways to get kicked off a plane". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  27. ^ "Insider City Guides – The Times and Sunday Times". City Guides. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  28. ^ "Civil Aviation Safety Authority - Documents by type". 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Canadian Criminal Law/Peace Officer - Wikibooks, open books for an open world". en.wikibooks.org. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Following unruly passenger incident, Korean Air to get tough and ease stun gun rules". The Japan Times, Reuters. 27 December 2016. Archived from the original on 23 January 2021.

External linksEdit

  • Airrage.org & AviationInsecurity.com
  • Flight Attendants Fight 'Air Rage'
  • 'Reverse Air-Rage' on Russian Jet
  • Flying in the age of air rage
  • Air rage and 9-11
  • BA jet plunges in cockpit struggle
  • Trans-Atlantic "air rage" incident ends safely