The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling for a clampdown to deal with unruly passengers – not just in-flight, but while they’re still on the ground.
The trade association, which represents some 240 airlines and over 84% of total air traffic, wants to see airport bars and restaurants take measures to help ensure that travellers who’ve had too much to drink or are disruptive to others, are dealt with before they even get on a plane.
IATA says training to make sure cabin crew and ground staff can expertly handle troublesome passengers at the various stages of travel, from check-in to security searches, all the way to the boarding gate, would help prevent problems in the air.
The association suggests a three-point call for action going forward. Last year, over 8,000 cases were reported to IATA by various airport authorities and airlines, from drunken and disorderly behaviour to total disregard for safety regulations such as smoking in-flight or using electronic devices when not allowed.
Director general and chief executive Tony Tyler said: “Each incident of unruly behavior marks an unacceptable inconvenience to passengers and crew.
“A united and balanced approach to the prevention and management of unruly passengers by governments and industry is vital.
“Governments should adopt all the legal powers at their disposal to ensure unruly passengers face the appropriate consequences for their actions.”
He added, “Everybody on board is entitled to enjoy a journey free from abusive or other unacceptable behaviour. A robust solution needs alignment among airlines, airports and governments.”