View Full Version : Air rage (again)

19th Aug 2001, 02:47
Picked this up from BBC website

Air passengers threatened cabin crew in mid-air after their flight home was diverted because it was running low on fuel, it has been reported.
About 15 travellers threw beer cans and tried to break into the cockpit, according to a spokeswoman for the Transjet airline.

The incident happened after passenger heard their Cyprus to Manchester flight was being diverted to Gatwick Airport on Wednesday evening.

The plane had used more fuel than usual due to strong winds, and the captain realised that flying to Manchester would have broken regulations by depleting reserves.

Sussex Police attended the plane upon landing, but no arrests were made.

People felt there had been poor service and things seemed to escape out of control

Sussex Police detective
The Transjet spokeswoman said an announcement that the plane would be making an unscheduled stop had sparked outrage.

About 50 passengers became unruly and some 15 threw cans, spat at stewards and tried to force their way into the cockpit, she said.

Police at Gatwick were alerted by the captain, and boarded the McDonnell Douglas MD83 plane when it landed at 2020BST.

One detective who boarded the plane said: "We feared there would be major problems when we heard the numbers involved, but things calmed down when we arrived.

"People felt there had been poor service and things seemed to escape out of control.

"All we could do in the end was give people who might have been involved a stern ticking off."

The passengers were later transported to Manchester by bus.

Thomas Johansson, who runs Transjet, said the plane could have reached Manchester, but doing so would have breached regulations by using up too much of the reserve supply.

"There were around 15 passengers who behaved very badly. They were spitting and throwing beer cans and they tried to break into the cockpit.

"The captain decided to divert to Gatwick and he called the police but couldn't identify them."

Address for story is http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1498000/1 498104.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1498000/1498104.stm)

[ 18 August 2001: Message edited by: jetstream7 ]

Anti Skid On
19th Aug 2001, 05:03
So why not add fuel and continue to EGCC, or was the aircraft based at KK?

Perhaps it was the thought of 4 hours + in a coach that caused the uproar! (not that I am in any way condoning the actions - hope they dragged a few away for a night at HM pleasure)

Desk Driver
19th Aug 2001, 12:28
Diverting in to LGW and coaching pax the rest of the way......Hmmmmmm call me synical but that used to happen on Tristars a few years ago! :p ...As for the unruly pax. When will we as an industry ban these scum for life from every airline. With the threat of never being able to fly again people will think twice! :mad:

Edited in to english

[ 19 August 2001: Message edited by: Desk Driver ]

19th Aug 2001, 12:48
Makes you think huh..
With the "sudden" increase in airrage, are the pax the only ones to blame?..
I think that the airlines have to accept some of the blame. Also some case-reactions are overkill; take the 2 drunk sisters who had the airplane divert to alaska , due to them being a bit drunk and argueing like a typical husband and wife, Any FA with some people skills could have saved that one. Also it was also admitting defeat to 2 drunk 18 year olds!! I am not defending any acts of violence at all, but I hope that airlines would quit relieving themselves of responsability and the pax of rights.
Besides I should be happy as it generates more revenue for us, the bizjet charter ops..

<flameproof pants on>

19th Aug 2001, 13:04
I go with you on that one LRDRIVER.

I've also stood in line at check-in, been grunted at by some check-in clerk, had my baggage tossed onto the conveyer, queued even more, been man-handled and verbally abused by the security check, had to wait in a dingy, smoky room, had the flight inexplicably delayed nemerous times, not found anywhere on board to put my hand baggage, or had it taken away at the door, had my food or drink just tossed at me with no more than a typical grunt, been sat waiting for slot times in excess of an hour and not had the crew tell us what we were waiting for, been ordered about by bolshy cabin crew who's job it isn't to look after your food requirements and a thousand other things! As far as I'm concerned; let the media and the airline industry drop this brainwash, bullsh!t about Air Rage. If they want to stop it, first they have to clean up their own act!

Bally Heck
19th Aug 2001, 13:51
Absolute Tosh 126.9. Try the service in Parkhurst if you don't like the airline service. There is NO excuse EVER for INBRED MORONS resorting to threats of violence. If these people tried to enter the flight deck then the police should pursue them with the vigour of an attempted murder investigation. (And then give the suspects a good kicking down at the station)

19th Aug 2001, 14:00
Here, here Bally Heck.....

A good friend of mine came up with a novel solution last year when a few pax of Nigerian persuation started a bit of a Brouhaha on the ground in Lagos....

He evacuated the cockpit and went back to the hotel....let security sort it out! :cool:

19th Aug 2001, 14:44
What the hell is Tosh ...?
Are you making up a language as you go along here?

My opinion on the matter is posted, and stands. Of course, if some idiot attempts to endanger the safety of the flight, it needs to be taken up sternly! That much is clear and unargueable!

However, almost all so called AIR RAGE stories one reads these days have nothing to do with that! They're about sensationalism and bored British public! They're usually posted in such great literary works of art as The Sun or The Mirror, or other such wonderful UK contributions to society.

I have personally witnessed passengers being verbally abused by airline staff; and when they came to react, labelled Air Ragers! Absolute Bullsh!t. If I were waklking in the street, and someone addressed me like that, I'd be libel to knock their block off. What makes it justifiable for them to do it as airline staff or crew? Sweet nothing I tell you, and they deserve to be punished. It's time that airline staff started treating their customers like customers, and not like cattle!

Put that in your pipe and puff on it pal!

19th Aug 2001, 14:53
Please don't get the idea that this is all got up by the Press. I have seen scores of such cases in Court and the behaviour concerned was not only dangerous, but must have terrified the other passengers. Trying to open the door is a common one (yes, I know you can't, but does Granny in 32E know that?) as are assaults on crew, damage to property and the rest. And this is all at a major airport with no charter traffic; so it is no good just blaming the shellsuits. The person in the dock is just as likely to be a suited businessman as anything else.

It's real. I don't know if it has increased, but I do know that airlines are much more ready to press charges than hitherto; in one case a foreign airline brought both pilots and two FAs 4000 miles to give evidence. The defendant promptly changed his plea to guilty.

srs what?
19th Aug 2001, 15:40
Everyone has missed 1 vital point here. We are not just talking about verbal abuse. According to the Police Statement some passengers tried to break into the Flight Deck. We have all seen the consequences of this actually happening already with the BA incident not that long ago. If memory serves me correctly didn't that 747 lose something like 6000ft. This report doesn't say at which stage of flight the incident occurred but might not have had 6000ft to lose!!

19th Aug 2001, 20:02
This kind of thing will continue until strong and well-publicised action is taken against people who threaten and abuse flight crews. The Europeans seem to let these louts off easy. It's well know among US crews that deplaning disruptive/threatening pax in the UK or Europe usually results in no action. Criminal and civil action should be taken and they should be BLACK-LISTED from airline travel. They can walk to their next vacation, drunk all the way, if they want. IMHO.

[ 19 August 2001: Message edited by: Roadtrip ]

19th Aug 2001, 21:11
Just have done with it and shoot all passengers. Why not just carry freight - it doesn't argue.

Most of the stories do seem to appear in comics (aka nespapers).

19th Aug 2001, 21:18
Flown 'em all...for ignorant and disrespectful behaviour, you can't beat the Brits and the Irish..plebs in plenty, and litle in the way of tolerance or good manners. (I'm a Brit, but that doesn't excuse them...moving abroad as soon as I can)

20th Aug 2001, 01:25
"About 15 travellers threw beer cans "

Says it all really!

When are they going to ban alcohol consumption on all flights??


tony draper
20th Aug 2001, 02:09
Scrap the juice, hand out spiffs, alcohol inflames the other mellows, thats why a blind eye was turned to it in the prison service. ;)

Then Draper would be able to have a ciggy.

20th Aug 2001, 03:03
Is it a fair question to ask why, of all the flights from the med to the UK at this time, this was the only one which did not have enough fuel due to high winds?

[ 19 August 2001: Message edited by: newswatcher ]

Out Of Trim
20th Aug 2001, 03:06
126.9 I think your wrong in this instance - The aircraft used extra fuel due to headwinds and had to divert to LGW to avoid burning fuel below legal minima.. However instead of coaching the pax: they should have had a quick refuel and continue onto MAN. If all the facts given to the passengers most of them would have understood and there would have been no problem. This airline is not based at LGW so there were no ulterior motives afoot.

Roadtrip - I don't think this is a purely European issue; I seem to recall plenty of Diverts to US airports where the miscreants have been offloaded and let off by the local judiciary. I don't recall any US courts taking a tougher line with these people.. I stand to be corrected if anyone else knows better.

20th Aug 2001, 03:16
I remember the fuss on here when an international airline was caught arriving low on fuel reserves.
I don't condone the reaction but it makes you wonder about the flight plan fuel/diversion fuel/field etc.
Also where the plane/crew was based.Don't know anything(about anything?) or Transjet. :eek: :rolleyes:

21st Aug 2001, 01:39
I agree that there is absolutely no excuse for violence, no matter how poor the service. So what to do?

It's a no brainer, actually. This is what I do as a passenger time and time again. I quietly tell each person who screws me up that I am dissatisfied, I note their name and the precise time and location of the incident.

When I get home I write to the airline - using exacly the format of an accident report and providing detail at that level.

Then the airline writes back to me. If I am a member of their frequent flier programme they give me some gift FF points, or a discount on my next flight or, if it is really bad, both. If it is not Star Alliance they generally just give me a discount. Some airlines just send a grovelling letter of apology. I pin those up on the office wall and try to avoid that airline in future. Occasionally an airline writes to tell me that it was all my fault. I circulate those letters to all my friends and close business colleagues.

I am very careful to write only when the service is genuinely bad or causes actual inconvenience - and is not just the expected grumpiness of someone working under pressure.

This is so effective that I just regard bad service as being a discount voucher from the airline, and so am able to stay calm.

Cheaper flights or a stay in prison? Where's the choice?

(Statistical appendix. In the past 10 years there are 22 airlines on which I have travelled more than 20 rotations each. 17 of those have never generated one my letters, but 1 of them has generated 7. Does this message get pulled by Danny if I name it?
My home airport airline has put up with me 646 times in that period and I have complained twice.)

21st Aug 2001, 13:08
Any chap as don't know "tosh" is the same as "piffle" is prob'ly a bit of a bounder (prob'ly slouches too, doncha know).

The Guvnor
21st Aug 2001, 13:45
Interesting item in today's Air & Business Travel News:

AIR RAGE: A final word from Brian Walters, one time Lufthansa UK Sales Manager but more recently an airline journalist of distinction and now retired (he says).

"I fully support get tough moves but suspect that some ground staff are apt to pass the buck, only too glad to get rid of drunken passengers. In this litigious age airlines would need a prompt method of confirming
that passengers are drunk before boarding is denied. There is a Freudian aspect to the subject. On a flight to Vancouver several years ago, passengers in the row behind me were becoming rowdy (young males - too much beer). A five foot nothing BA hostess got them quiet in no time. Sensibly, a steward was not to be seen - otherwise a punch-up
might have resulted."

There is a moral to this story. You've got to get your cabin crew right. Hefty lads to shift the food trolleys and tiny girls to deal with unruly passengers. It is usually the other way around!

21st Aug 2001, 17:56
I don't know how the US crews see the European justice, but here in Europe, we know how fast and easy to launch is th US's one...
Here a story who take place a few years ago:
A french journalist, of the french newspaper "LE MONDE" (known as the french "reference newspaper") plan to have his holidays in the USA.
So he took a fly with his wife and son to (I think) Boston.
The man have, at this time, a broken leg, still wearing a plaster, and was walking with a crutch.
After boarding, he ask the FA if he could change his place to another where he could have his leg horizontally (cause of the plaster), and the FA desagree and let him in his first place.
End of the place story, and the fly took its way normaly to Boston.
Then, while coming out of the aircraft, he missed a stair, and fall in the arms of the same FA, who immediately screamed, and then, two FBI's guys rushed, took him, and put him in jail, where he stayed for a few days, whitout even a call to the french consul nor his wife, who was left alone with her children in the airport without news, and he was charged of AIR RAGE and "assault" on the FA...
Have nices holidays in USA...

I just don't want to imagine how this story was reported by the locals news medias...


Max Continuous
21st Aug 2001, 18:04
Have to agree with 126.9 here - a high proportion of air-rage incidents are public relations problemettes which get out of hand as a direct result of the immature behaviour of stewards/stewardesses who unfortunately have their heads filled with regulations and an inflated view of their own importance at the training stage and completely lack empathy and basic people skills.

And Rongotai, why should passengers have to put up with the "grumpiness" of people working under pressure? Grounds for complaint here alone, surely?

21st Aug 2001, 19:20
Well said PFO
Until we (airlines) stop encouraging cabin crew to sell as much booze as possible to boost their commissions we will always have these problems. Carriers can inform passengers about the effects of consuming alcohol at altitude and to drink plenty of water all they want but if booze is then made available in what would seem limitless quantities are we not shooting ourselves in the foot.

If we must serve beer’s etc, would it not be better to pour it into a plastic glass as part of the service, rather then give them something that can be used as a missile.

:mad: :mad: :mad:

21st Aug 2001, 19:37

and may i add..

if the airlines didnīt have sullen, sulky ground staff and cabin crew, things would immediately improve 100%. many of the cabin crew think theyīre godīs gift to men, women or queerdom and you are lucky if you get a grimace off them, instead of a grunt. (unless you are the lucky queer)

instead of being bad-tempered, impatient, arrogant and overbearing (see the dictionary under 'Lufthansa' here), a smile and a polite explanation/conversation wins over in 99% of cases

airlines - YOU are to blame for most 'air rage' cases.

the pax have a right to become angry when they are treated as they are being treated

iīm ashamed to get out of the cockpit and show my face some days

21st Aug 2001, 20:50
The blame is on society - people in the airline and people in the public. Society is sick, and will be until Shakespeare is made required reading again.

21st Aug 2001, 21:02
AfricanSkies, with badly thought-out and badly argued posts such as that, especially your homophobic jibes, you SHOULD be ashamed to get out and show your face. (I'll say nothing about the almost illiterate spelling, grammar etc.)

If you (and 126.9 and MaxContinuous) are attempting to argue that all Air Rage incidents are self-inflicted injuries, I think you will have to come up with some evidence to support your allegations, or retract them. Why? Because there is ample evidence to support the contention that, in the large majority of cases, there has been little or no shortcoming on the part of airline staff as far as their attitude is concerned. Because many incidents are the extensions of arguments between two passengers (e.g. over the passenger in front reclining his seat etc. etc.). Look at the statistics. They're there to e read, if you can be bothered.

All cabin crew with whom I have worked (with one exception, who didn't last long) are acutely aware that they are the front line in the airline's relationship with the passengers. If they don't perform as they should, they let EVERYBODY else down. And very few do.

Put yourself in their shoes for a while. They have to endure some of the most boorish passengers treating them (at best) like glorified waitresses, or as servants. They have to find a way tactfully (but firmly) to prevent breaches of safety and security. They have to enforce not only airline rules but the law as well. And sometimes, sure, the smile slips. You think you wouldn't have a sense of humour failure from time to time?

However, if they fail to give one passenger their widest smile and a "certainly, sir" when some drunken lout is insulting and rude, there is no excuse whatsoever for the sort of violence and extreme rage that has been the main feature of too many incidents recently.

If a passenger is dissatisfied with the standard of service, or someone in the employ of an airline has been rude, then they have the right to write and complain - not to wreck the joint, fight with crew and other passengers, kick their way into the flight deck, etc.

And if ANYONE, for any reason whatsoever, endangers either my safety, the safety of any of my crew, my aircraft or others of my passengers, I will demand that they be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

21st Aug 2001, 21:28
Slightly off-topic, but still on the subject of getting pissed off at poor service while travelling by air.

I've found a lot of American so-called "international" airports to be absolutely abominable in the service they provide to international travellers. Yesterday, I was returning from LGW to PHL and disembarked at arounf 3:30pm to find an immigration hall not just packed with "alien" passengers, but overflowing down the corridor so that they had to let people up the escalator in groups of 20.

I had to wait in the queue for the immigration officer for an hour and half in a hot, sweaty, smelly and overcrowded snaking queue, struggling with my carry-on baggage among hordes of screaming kids. After an eight hour flight, it was a nightmare. The stress it engendered completely nullified any extra relaxation I got by paying the premium for a business class seat. By the time I got out of the airport I was fuming and ready to rip someone's head off. Not air rage, but airport rage - and I normally consider myself to be pretty level-headed.

This isn't the first time this has happened at PHL (although it was the worst). I've also had problems at IAD and JFK. Not only that, but PHL baggage handling is simply atrocious. Luggage is ALWAYS late onto the carousels, so you often have to hang around for an hour after you've disembarked (assuming you haven't already waited that hour out in the immigration queue). It's frequently lost and because he airport is so woefully unprepared for the amount of traffic it receives, they have teams of people taking the luggage off the carousels and stacking it in random piles around he customs hall almost as soon as it arrives so as to make room for the next flight.

Maybe I'm just being over-critical, but it seems to me that a lot of US airports make insufficient provision for the number of foreign passengers who arrive at peak times. It's not really a very good advertisement for your country when the first thing a foreign visitor has to do after a long and tiring flight, suffering from jetlag, is wait for ages in a hot stuffy queue.

I have to say you never see that at LHR or LGW - foreign passengers are usually admitted within five minutes or so of arriving in the immigration hall. In fact, at LGW, foreign business class passengers are issued with special "Fast Track" coupons to allow them speedy passage through immigration and customs.

I should add that US Airways(who I usually travel with) provide excellent service, and the customs and immigration officials at the airports I've always found to be pleasant and efficient. My gripe is with the airports and the airport authorities. Where are all our airport tax dollars going?

21st Aug 2001, 22:42
As a passenger on the above flight I feel it was a slightly over the top reaction from both pilot and crew regarding the offending passengers. There were definitly no beer cans being thrown and the one passenger that went to the cock pit was invited to do so by quite an aggresive crew member. Yes approx. 10 passengers were rude and quite annoying throughout the flight, but this did not constitute the remaining 150 passengers being removed from the plane under armed police surveilance. The crew were aware of disruptive passengers before take off, and in my opinion should prehaps have refused to take those passengers from Cyprus, however, they continued with the flighht offering these people drinks services galore! I cannot abide aggresive and rude people but I feel that crew members may have been able to calm the situation if they had not been so abrupt and defensive!

21st Aug 2001, 22:44
I flew into Cincinnati earlier this year and when the immigration chap asked me where I was going to I told him.

He said:

"What the hell do you wanna go there for, it's a sh*thole!"

Welcome to America!


22nd Aug 2001, 01:30
Max Continuous asks why I tolerate what I called 'normal grumpiness'. I have a dilemma with this question. On one level I agree with him.

But if I see frustrated passengers queued up in 4 check in lines while another three stations are unmanned, then neither the passengers nor the staff on duty are responsible for the tension that is created - it is the airline beancounters who have undermanned the operation.

I am very unwilling to complain about an individual in such circumstances because I know that if I do it is not the management who are responsible for the situation that will take a hit, but the staff member on duty.

My standard is that I expect staff to do their jobs properly, I don't always expect them to be happy. Under pressure I can get grumpy as well. If a person providing me with a service is in a bad mood, I make some judgements based on available evidence about whether it is their own gratuitous behaviour, or a response to imposed working conditions. I then complain to the company, or not, according to that judgement.

Actually, when ORD is closed by a line of thunderstorms on a Friday afternoon, or when Ansett suddenly has its 767's grounded, the best thing to do is to empathise with staff regardless of their individual demeanour. Not only does that help to ease the situation rather than exacerbate it, but from time to time it results in some snarling monster miraculously finding me a seat on some other flight while everybody else remains stuck and engaged in mutual hostility.

22nd Aug 2001, 01:57
Good for you, Rongotai. I always try to behave as you do. I don't always succeed! However, when I do, my experience echoes yours.

And if people think that dealing with grumpy, sullen or simply overstressed staff is reason enough to scream insults and oscenities, start fist fights, trash the place, endanger the safety of everyone around them, or simple beat and stab people half to death with broken vodka bottles perhaps they also ought to stay out of almost all fast food joints, all trains, many supermarkets, etc. etc. etc....

Max Continuous
22nd Aug 2001, 02:49
Hugmonster - I agree with you that there's very little excuse for sounding off and getting generally wound up just because you're face to face with a stressed out, grumpy employee, on the ground or in-flight.

Nevertheless it's probably fair to say that most cabin staff, when asked at their interviews why they wish to join an airline, will reply that a big reason is their desire to work with "people". God only knows why, because, let's face it, "people" are the most dreadful, depressing, awkward scumbags imaginable. Far better to work on your own or with machines, in my humble opinion. But given their apparent desire to work with the general public, surely we can expect them to be relatively mature in their outlook and properly trained in basic inter-personal and interaction skills.

Blatantly this is not the case at present. Far too many hosties are under twenty-five, immature and in fact just as awful as the general public they purport to serve and work with. They're basically out for themselves and not in the job in any way because they enjoy helping and pleasing others. Many of them are defensive and moody and take criticism personally. I've very little sympathy with them because they're the ones who say they wanted to work with "people" in the first place. What do they expect? Why do they even get out of bed for the meagre wages they are paid?

Of course it's the glorious exceptions which prove the rule. Potential air-rage incidents on my own flights have, to my certain knowledge, been defused by experienced, sympathetic, reassuring cabin staff who are in the job for the right reasons. These angels comprise, say, ten per cent of the total.

And there we have it - predominantly ill-mannered passengers and cabin staff all getting fed up with each other, a tinder box waiting to ignite...........

Epsom Hold 2
22nd Aug 2001, 03:43
Although I agree that most cabin crew are very young and immature, I have never found myself wound up by anything in flight, other than being told to close my blind so they can screen a stupid movie about bears playing baseball (with the sex bits cut out) while cruising over Greenland in broad daylight.

However, I suffer ground rage almost every time I fly to or from a big airport. Twenty minute check-in queue, pre-assigned seat reservation not in the system, then the guantlet of security / emigration, two mile walk / run to the gate, overcrowded departure "lounge" (gonna love those A380s, oh baby), delay, tailback in the jetbridge, idiots who have been allowed to bring a steamer trunk as handluggage and now they're blocking an aisle and endangering anyone sitting under them while they stuff it into a creaking overhead locker... I can't remember ever plonking my weary arse into an airline seat not drenched in seat. I love flying so for someone who doesn't, or maybe hate it, I don't know how they don't lose the plot.

Arriving can be worse - and I don't find LHR or LGW Arrivals that thrilling by the way, I am a non-EU national who is resident in the UK and that 'others' queue at T3 has NEVER been "five or ten minutes" (as someone suggested above), more like 30+, which admittedly still isn't as bad as in the US. Difference is that you're off the aircraft so you're more likely to kill a taxi driver than a trolley dolly / dragon with a wagon.

Agree with Mr Draper, ganga should be compulsory for SLF. No-one ever kicked in a shopwindow after smoking weed. The quickest and most stress-free inflight experience I ever had was Athens-BKK-Sydney on an Olympic 747 in my younger years. Swallowed a hefty lump of hash while on the taxiway at Hellenikon and dozed and snacked in contented silence all the way home. God bless those OA caterers for their generous portions. Although the view as we pounded out over the Greek Islands with the Med sparkling in the morning sunshine didn't really need any mood enhancement. (BTW I've flown OA longhaul without the Class Bs and still found them really good, including the food.)

22nd Aug 2001, 04:17
I have to disagree with Max. I have found that most "people" on this planet are decent folks - ground agents and flight attendants included. I try to treat everyone nicely and it is a rare occasion when I run into anyone nasty. I think good folks are in the majority but very quiet about it. It is the horrible encounters that one remembers most,unfortunately, and this does tend to colour attitudes. As for the trials and tribulations of crowded airports,flights, delays etc. I try to step back mentally and observe - makes it less personal and "Turned out nice again, didn't it?"
As for LHR T3 - absolutely horrible terminal. As a non-EU resident flying into it six times a year over many years - I have never, ever had to queue longer than five minutes at customs and immigration. Never had a lost bag either. Damn charmed life...so far.

Craig Pollard
22nd Aug 2001, 09:08
I have to say that whenever I fly (which is at least 3 times a month) I always empathise with the ground staff no matter how awful things are.

You can only admire people who VOLUNTARILY choose to work with the public.

A more disgusting, annoying and rude conglomerate of idiosyncracies you could never hope to find. The public that is. They're the reason I quit my retail career and am now a consultant. If a member of the public irritates me at work at least I know I can charge the B*****D $200.00 per hour for the privilege.

When you think about it the pilots have the best position in the airline. They only ever have one way communication with a bunch of people they never have to look at. Even when they're under attack the FA's are a formidable line of defense.

But to get back to the topic, I would have to agree that the majority of air rage incidents just would not happen if alcohol was not supplied. After all is it really necessary????? Can't we just go for a few hours without it?

The Guvnor
22nd Aug 2001, 10:28
Hmmmmm, I wonder how many incidences of air rage Saudi Arabian Airlines have, as a 'dry' airline?

Any KSA based PPRuNers care to comment??

22nd Aug 2001, 11:31

firstly, i donīt spend my life and times on pprune writing prose to suit you, this isnīt an english competition, you stuffed shirt :rolleyes: ...as for homophobic, i certainly am. all the more for you, eh?

it is not my argument that all air rage cases are the fault of the airline. if you read my post more carefully, you will see that i said they were to blame for 'most' air rage cases. of course the airlines cannot be held responsible for the insane. however, the cases you read about in the media are the tip of the iceberg! for every one incident where a passenger explodes into violence, there are perhaps fifty passengers who are seething in their seats! just because there is no outburst certainly does not mean there is no rage! this as a result of having been shunted from pillar to post from the moment they arrived at the airport. ...parking problems... heavy bags... standing in long queues...miserable faces of stressed ground staff...booking problems...security checks...finding the way to the gate...more sullen ground staff, usually more stressed out by this stage...waiting at the gate... delays....... by this time most passengers are edgy, if not outright tense...so when the flight is called they all jump up at once to get through the gate..more stress...the passengers arrive on board only to have to fight for overhead locker room, if not seats themselves...to their dismay the pitch has yet again been reduced...to the extent that if they drop their headset onto the floor they are unable to simply reach down and pick it up....not that it would matter, ten to one it was faulty anyway, and from where they have been seated (which was not their originally booked seat) they canīt see the screen without twisting their necks...the baby in the seat behind them is squealing, itīs parents are having a whispered argument...the frosty flight attendant comes past with the trolley taking out any elbows which happen to be an inch over the armrest..and throws everyone a roll with a grunt...later the pax is thirsty, he presses the call button...surprise, surprise, nobody shines up...he manages to catch the eye of a flight attendant and asks for a drink...after sheīs been past three or four times she remembers his request with a tut and brings him a miniscule plastic beaker filled with diluted orange juice which he finishes in one mouthful...i could go on and on...and i do, i know

years ago, before ‘cost-cutting’ was the buzzword on airline employeeīs lips, airlines did not have bare-minimum facilities at airports. they operated aircraft where passengers could sit in relative comfort, instead of packing them in ever tighter whilst fighting off the dvt lawsuits. they treated passengers as customers. today they are just another pax, just another problem. no wonder that sometimes the problems assert themselves....

and donīt take umbrage at the grammar huggy, you got the only capital letter in the whole post...


22nd Aug 2001, 14:39
Interesting to read the account of the incident from Katie who was actually on the flight - and gives a very different description of events from the picture painted by the Press.
Perhaps the reason the police didn't arrest anyone for allegedly trying to force their way onto the F/D is that no-one did!!

Curious (and amusing) that whenever the Press reports an aviation story which is critical of the airlines we protest that it is a melodramatic and exaggerated distortion of what actually occurred - yet many ppruners seem all too ready to believe such stories when the criticism is of pax!

When these stories occur, there is a reluctance to accept even the possibility that the attitude of our check-in staff and/or CC could have been even a contributing factor.
And, when someone in the industry speaks out and tells the truth as he/she sees it, he/she is attacked.
The majority do their jobs well; but, sadly, there is a minority who seem to be ill-suited to a service industry, and give the impression they'd enjoy their work more if it wasn't for the pax - who pay their wages. The public can be tiresome; if that's a strain, find a job which doesn't involve serving them.

Hugmonster: I haven't the time (or inclination) to check my grammar. Have fun! :rolleyes:

[ 22 August 2001: Message edited by: Heliport ]

22nd Aug 2001, 18:03
Max-Cont'-I agree with Rolling Thunder-most people are not scumbags. Most are decent, pateint people. The scumbags that do cause trouble should be delt with very severely. The airports are definetley a cause of stress, but anyone getting seriously arsey at that stage should be denied boarding, esoeciacally if they're drunk. Its far easier to deal with trouble on the ground, with space and police available, than in an confined space of an aircraft. It must be very frightening for passangers to have someone causing trouble in the air. Trying to open the door is an excellent example. We all know that the pressure amounts to several tons, preventing anyone opening it i flight, but passangers don't-it must be terrifying.
It doesn't matter how frustrated you are or how shoddy the service, there is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for violent or threatening behaviour. I've worked with people with learning difficulties and behaviour problems and some of the things on hears about with air rage sounds like the perpetrators are candiates to be sectioned!
Can you blame the CC for over reating slightly-they've probably all seen incidents before, and don't want some t*** to stick a broken bottle in their face. Their job is to look after these c***s in an emergency, not take this!
Stop alcohol on flights, and be really tough on the idiots, before a fatality in flight on a complete a/c loss occurs.

[ 22 August 2001: Message edited by: Captain James Bigglesworth ]

Invalid Delete
22nd Aug 2001, 18:17
I continue to read this thread with interest. So nice that a passenger on the flight has made a comment on what actually happened. ;)

Katie :
Could you expand on what went on and what/who you think was to blame, please ?
It would be nice to find out your views and I for one, am sure would gain something, which could be passed on to my colleagues.

For those not resident in the UK - We do not considder The Sun or The Mirror as newspapers. You get more realism and less sensationalism in Batman Comics.

On more tenuous contributory factors to "Air Rage" I always find that giving the passengers all the information and what we intend to do about it passifies the situation.

We use the acronym "NITS" in our airline (as I am sure do many others in the UK) to brief the cabin crew of any non-normal situations.
N = Nature of the situation /problem
I = Intentions
T = Time
S = Special instructions /procedures
Whilst this is an excellent tool for CRM and improved communications on the flight deck, it is also a good thing to use when informing passengers of problems, delays etc.

Whilst everyone agrees that getting through the terminal is probably the most stressful part of the journey, lack of information is equally stressful IMHO.

22nd Aug 2001, 18:39
Where’s the fine line between Air Rage, Interfering with an aircrew, and Hijacking?

There’s too many instances of Air rage (DUH!) both airborne and aground, anyway, to treat them ALL with hobnail boots. (THAT ought to get a response).

Scenario – April 2000, Iberia Charter flight ex-MAD to Buenos Aires (BA), scheduled block time 10+30 hours (single deck crew). Add very early morning arrival…. Buenos Aires, Rio, Montevideo AND Cordoba fog (all at or below CAT2)….once a current MET report was finally obtained. (sound familiar?) Sao Paolo Guarulhos.. the ONLY ‘open’ field with decent weather.

One “Gran Classe” (1st) passenger, about 30 Business, and 420+ Cattle class, arrive at Sao Paolo on the divert (11+46 block time). Captain explains on PA that the flight must terminate at Sao Paolo due to legal duty time, but will continue to BA after crew rest or a relief crew is brought in from BA. Remember, BA is below Cat2 (by now, CLOSED). The sole 1st class passenger, quickly pulls out his cell phone and calls his mates in BA, relaying the fact of the divert only to be told that there were over 2000 people at BA airport (0500 local) and that the airport “couldn’t possibly” be closed! HMMM? Can’t see a thing…no people getting ON any airplanes….nothing moving??? Nah! Can’t be closed!

Meanwhile, back in Sao Paolo, 30 plus punters, all the business class and the one 1st class “Ars…le”, refuse to deplane… or to allow the crew off the airplane!?! Over an hour later, the “Federales “ arrive to try to defuse/handle the situation. Sao Paulo station manager then comes onboard to “help” and tells the rebelling pax they don’t HAVE to disembark…….”Bar’s open and, by the way, here’s the rest of the hors d’oeuerves from the 1st class larder…fill your zapatas!” Anyway, the Fed Police say they can’t take anyone off the aircraft, but finally cover the escape of 81.25% of the crew via L5 with a clever ruse. The purser, God Bless her! and a gallant few remained on-board to deter these oafs from dismantling the aircraft. Their duty day finished just under 24 hours.

End game….. the relief crew finally shows and takes about a third of the original pax on to BA that evening. The Gran Class passenger, happened to be Editor-in-chief of the major Madrid daily newspaper, El Mundo! NEWS FLASH!!!!, with coverage in International press, was that the CREW had hijacked the passengers to Sao Paolo! Where’s the justice? Why do we even try? Gotta get a copy of that days paper!!(and improve my Spanish)!!

BTW, the diverting Captain had the foresight to demand the crew go to a different hotel than the poor ‘stranded passengers’. Good call, Pete!

What’s the point? Maybe a lot of AR incidents could, or should, be handled differently…CRM definitely extends beyond the crew. But when the self-loading cargo starts banging on the cockpit door, slobbering, snorting and belching, then it’s, for sure, time to make some examples!
Gloves off time!!!!!

23rd Aug 2001, 12:14
In reply to INVALID DELETE's request to KATIE to expand on her comments.

I too was a passenger on this flight and was amazed as every other passenger must have been to read the account of events in several naitonal newspapers on Sunday.

Katie was right when she said that the crew were aware of problem passengers, because a member of the crew announced over the tannoy before we took off that staff from the airport had informed them of problem passengers and the pilot had no problem with diverting the flight and removing them from the plane if they continued to cause trouble.

The first group of trouble makers (from what I could see sat next to the emergency exit near the middle of the plane) was a group of about four or five lads sat near the front who kep pressing the button to call the cabin crewe, and continued to press the button constantly until a member of the crewe arrived. The were obviously just doing this to be a nuisance because each time a member of the crewe arrived they would have a two or three word conversation and then walk away only for the brain dead idiots to then start pressing the button again when the cabin crewe were out of site!

this was not only annoying the cabin crewe believe me.

I am not sure if the above passengers were threatening towards the crewe but I can only assume that they were due to the reaction of the crewe when we landed at Gatwick.

as fas as I could see the guys at the front were the only trouble makers until it was announced that wer were to land early to re-fule.

At this point a group of girls (I think from the Bradford area listing to their accents) started to complain loudly. One in particular made a lot of fuss and in the same fashion as the lads at the front began to ring the bell to call the cabin crewe. When the member of the crewe arrived he listened to he complaint and then started to try and explain the problem. The girl continued to complain and within minutes the member of the cabin crewe seemed to lose his temper and stom to the fron of the plane. As Katie mentioned in her message he then returned and invited her to the front of the plane. I watched her being interested to see what happend next and I can say for definate that she DID NOT try to break into the cock pit. She spoke to the men who seemed to be the head of the cabin crew and then returned to her seat (still complaining!?!?)

Not much longer after that we landed at Gatwick and the armed police boarded the plane, at this point the crewe got off and dissapeared!

we were then kept on the plane for almost an hour without being told anything (except rhumors that kept passing up and down the plane between passengers about a coach jopurney home) befor being taken under armed guard into a holding area in Gatwick.

Four hours and a short police interview each later we were hearded onto coaches at midnight and began our 6 and a half hour coach journey home.

You may be interested to know that when the crewe and captian announced that we were landing to re-fuel they said that it was due to the fact that we had not taken on enough fule in Cyprus and we were carrying a larger than normal amount of baggage (No mention of head winds!).

Also while waiting to be inteviewed by the police with the rest of the passengers I spoke to a member of the security staff at Gatwick. He told me that when we landed the crewe told the police that there were about fifteen problem passengers on the plane but they could not pick them out and then left leaving the police with a plane full of passengers wondering what to do.

As for reports in the papers of them swaping seats and changing clothes it didn't happen and the trouble makers were picked out as we were being interviewed by the police.

I agree that the idiots who cause trouble like that on planes should be banned from flying (and a jail term might not do tham any harm as well).

However I was disgusted with the was that the crewe handled the situation and the way that we were treated by them.

The police and ground crewe at Gatwick were tremendous considdereing the situation that they were put in.

My appologies for the length of this message but I wanted the tru story to come out, No can throwing, No breaking doors down, just a few d***k heads who needed more that a good tellin off and a cabin crewe who need to lean how to treat people.

PS. I dont know anything about planes but I was sat next to the emergency exit door on the plane and there were a few small cracks in the door. During the flight ice formed around these cracks. Is that safe?

Thanks for patiently reading

an annoyed passenger of the flight

The Guvnor
23rd Aug 2001, 13:00
It's not only the pax that get wound up ... pilots can to! But Rod Rage?? :confused: :D :confused:

From today's Telegraph:

Pilot dunked in 'rod rage'
By Thomas Penny
(Filed: 23/08/2001)

AN airline pilot was thrown into a canal in an outbreak of "rod rage" after he rode his bicycle over a Ģ500 fishing pole that was blocking a tow path.

Thomas Perkins, 51, was pursued by irate anglers who knocked him off his machine and threw him, fully-clothed, into the Calder and Hebble Navigation, magistrates were told.

Perkins, of Sowerby Bridge, West Yorks, admitted criminal damage and said he had decided not to press charges against the anglers because he liked using the tow path and did not want to make the situation worse.

The court was told on Tuesday that Perkins was at the end of a long ride when he came across 10 members of Ryburn and Halifax Angling Society taking part in a competition near his home.

He was annoyed when he found that he could not pass and, refusing to wait until one of the anglers had unhooked a fish from his line, cycled over a fibreglass roach pole which had been laid across the towpath.

The court heard that the rod, which belonged to David Pilgrim, an angler, was snapped in three places. As Perkins rode off, two of the anglers chased him in a van, blocking his path and throwing him into the canal after an
angry confrontation.

Michael Nowell, defending, claimed that the anglers had taken exception to Perkins riding his bicycle along the towpath and had placed their rods intentionally to block his path.

Perkins, a pilot with Sunny Sky Aviation, admitted causing criminal damage at Calderdale Magistrates Court in Halifax and was given a conditional discharge for 12 months, ordered to pay Ģ500 compensation and Ģ50 costs. [/quote]

You want it when?
23rd Aug 2001, 13:51
Not that I'm a peace and love type - but "do unto others as you would have done unto you."

If the plane I was travelling in needed to make a stop for a safety / security reason then so be it. If the crew hours expire during the stop then it happens - one of the penalties for the "now" world and economics are that sometimes it has to happen. Yes they could open a further five check-ins but that would mean an additional Ģ120,000 odd of salary cost at a guess. The ticket price needs to goes up to compensate...

The world seems to have gone mad in terms of what it expects, when it expects it and the right to have it. If not right now, then might is right. And I consider being a nuisance to a service industry a form of threat.

The sooner a "bad-boys" list is complied of passengers who don't deserve to fly the better and safer it will be for the rest of us. I don't want to fly with a moron - in these days of computers it would be pretty easy to get a passport check sorted out. And very hard to explain why you can't fly to Madrid because your are w**nker on holiday.

I'd love it.

If someone phones speaks to any member of my department in a threatening manner, then I will get involved and it will be sorted. If they continue to be a pain then I can and will escalate it.

23rd Aug 2001, 20:29
Would agree with Roadtripand PFO.

A stamp on the individuals passport, akin to an endorsement on a driving license could be useful.

It would alert all concerned, in future instances of travel (be they air or not), that the AirRage pax has a track record.

I have seen situations where bus drivers refuse to move away from a stop, if unruly passengers will not take their seats. Why not the same rule for unruly pax, where the consequences can be far more serious.

The Guvnor
23rd Aug 2001, 20:54
To my knowledge, there are several companies currently developing database solutions to this problem.

However, I'd see the following problems:

1) On what legal basis would it work? Legislation would be required to make it binding.

2) How would troublemakers be identifed? If by name, what about other passengers who have the same name and date of birth? (This is a problem encountered by a number of people I know going through US immigration, for example).

3) If identification is by passport, then how do airlines cope with someone who has more than one passport - or who reports his blacklisted passport lost?

4) Unless the database had to be used on a mandatory basis by all airlines in the UK/EU, then its effectiveness would be minimised as anyone who has been blacklisted on say EZY would be able to go to say FR ... which is pretty much what happens at the moment.

5) Interlining would also be a problem.

6) The legal implications of blacklisting would be interesting - the only safe way to do it would be to blacklist anyone who has been convicted of an offence committed on board an aircraft - otherwise if its done on the basis of cabin crew reports, that would potentially result in megabuck lawsuits!

So, in summary, the solution is not as simple as it appears at first sight!

Invalid Delete
24th Aug 2001, 01:30

Thanks for a very detailed and prompt reply. Which by the way was very informative. I am sorry that you felt that the crew acted in a way that seems to have not helped the situation.

You should have been provided with, at least an explanation. I get the impression that they (the crew) had probably just got so pissed off with the situation that they just decided to leave. You flew with a relatively new company and there may, I suspect not have been established procedures to deal with the relatively "unique" situation they were faced with.

Normally with these "incidents" statements are taken from other passengers and used as evidence against the offenders.

I don't know why I am providing explanations for them - I don't even work for them !

Regarding the cracks you talked about. It depends where they are - on the door itself, on the door / window seal, on the "glass", on the outside, on the inside (Sounds bad if ice was on the inside!). I asked an engineer today and he said that (and I quote) 'Air gaps in the structure are normal....you are OK as long as they don't all join up with each other !!!!' ....I think he was joking BTW !!!
Ice is normal too, as long as it's in your G & T. :D

Sorry to ask more questions but, it would really help if you could say why you were disgusted with the way the crew handled the situation ?
What do you feel they didn't do ?
What do you feel they should have done ?

[edited due to typi - typo even]

[ 23 August 2001: Message edited by: Invalid Delete ]

28th Aug 2001, 12:05
Invalid Delete:

Thanks for taking the time to read and relpy to my message.

As for the answers to you questions, well here goes:

According to the member of Gatwick security that I spoke to: When the crewe got off the plane and spoke to police they said that there were about fifteen or twenty trouble makers and that they could not identify them all.

Rubbish the original group of lads that seemed to cause most of the bother only numbered about 5 or 6 and were all sat toghther at the front of the plane. Also I could have identified most of them because between constantly pressing the attendants bell they were walking up and down the plane to go to the toilet, so I was probably not the only person who could have picked them out!

When we landed I believe that the crewe should have had the trouble makers removed from the plane and then continued on with the rest of the passengers on board to Manchester. Why should 150 innocent holiday makers face being treated like criminals (which is how we were made to feel) for the sake of five or six?

As for the girls who started to make a lot of noise when it was announced that we were to land early, they could have also been removed if the crewe did not feel comfortable with them. No one would have to identify them the police could have just folloed the noise!!

However a friend of my girlfriend works in air traffic control in Liverpool and she told me that to carry on and land at Manchester would have only taken about ten minutes longer. The crewe had put up with these passengers for over four hours, I am sure ten more minutes would not have made a dig difference. They should have had the police waiting at Manchester, at least then the rest of us would not have had to endure a six and a half hour coach journey only to be late for work the next day due to the length of the delay!

My final point is that above all I am annoyed that the crewe did not follow through with their actions! If they did not fell safe on the plane with these passengers then I agree with them for landing. If then regulations mean that they have spent too lond in the air and cannon continue to on to Manchester, then OK we take the coah home (nothing anyone can do). But they should have identified the trouble makers straight away to the poliece (seat numbers? descriptions! even pick them out as we passes through the interviews!) and then pressed charges!!!! I certainly would not like to fly with those people again!

Why were they not taken out and charged! because the crewe said they could not be sure they were the trouble makers, (RUBBISH!!!!!) they had be annoying them at the front of the plane for four hous they could have drawn their portrait in that time never mind get a good look at them.

Finally (I know I'm going on but)when other passengers enquired if a coach journey was the quickest way to get back to manchester and if it would not be better to let them catch the train and refund their ticket fare they were told quite abruptly by a member of transjet staff that it was the coach or northing and the the transjet member made it sound as though they were doing us a hugh favour by arranging the coach and that is was us putting them out.
Thanks a bunch!

OK thats enough moaning from me. Main point being if they were landing the plane for more than the fact that the crewe all live in Gatwick then someone should have been held accountable! No fairy tales of not being able to pick out problem passengers or people swapping clothes! I was ashamed to admint that I am from the same country as the trouble makers and I would have backed the crewe fully if they had the police charge them.

thaks again,


PS. There were two cracks in the emergency exit door a couple of inches long each in the centre of the door at about knee hight when I was sat down. Ice formed along both of them on the inside of the door keeping my knee nice and cool throughout the flight.

28th Aug 2001, 17:12
Dear Abbo, you really should proof read your lenghty missives before punching the reply button. Crewe is spelled CREW, the rest I leave for you to discover.

28th Aug 2001, 17:27
Come on - leave ABBO alone - what's important here is not the spelling of crewe but the message that is being given.
And the message is the different perceptions from pax, CC, and media.

28th Aug 2001, 23:07
In my humble(ish) opinion, the alcohol problem will always occur, be it on land sea or air. If the personality beneath the outward show has antisocial tendencies, then alcohol is the stuff to bring them out. Most of us have seen good and respected mates become total strangers after one too many.

The legal system is now reacting by imposing serious penalties for this behaviour on aircraft, and that is as it should be. Unfortunately, the next homicidal air-rager doesn't even know that it will be him. It will be an otherwise normal person whose deep rooted problems are unearthed by booze. He is the one who might kill any of us!

Invalid Delete
29th Aug 2001, 21:28

Sounds like you had a rough time there. I agree with most of what you said.

It seems to me that the cabin crew were at fault for the following reasons :-

1) Not collecting any witness statements from passengers. (Without which, taking it further is effectively impossible.)
2) Not identifying the offenders to the police on arrival.

Try putting this in a letter to the airline, and ask for a refund. Tell them that if you don't get a full refund you will contact the CAA directly stating that the cabin crew were 'negligent' in their basic duties.
The words 'negligent' and 'CAA' will certainly get their attention, I can assure you !!! Good luck with that and let me know how you get on.

IMHO I do not think that the Captain and First Officer would have made the decision to land at Gatwick unless they were legally bound to do so, due to insufficient reserve fuel. It is more hassle for them to do that, as they then have to get transported by road to Manchester to get their cars and then drive home themselves.

Gatwick to Manchester 10 minutes by air ? (- Anyone done it recently / got times from overhead Gatwick ?)

Anyway at least we all know now that what we read in the press is similar to the Dandy.

Regarding HotDog's posting :

I find it easier to create my lengthy reply's off line. Then "cut and paste" it into the "Replies" section afterwards, saving much thinking time, mistakes and surfing money. :D

Out Of Trim
30th Aug 2001, 03:18
Gatwick to Manchester - More like 35 mins flight time - But the aircraft would not have been routing via LGW - so the flight time would have been a bit less.. :confused:

30th Aug 2001, 14:57
Does anyone know anything about this airline?
Where based;who is tour operator;type of a/c etc.?
Sounds to me like they were looking for an excuse not to go "ap norf".
I know low fuel is not an excuse, but how were they so low anyway?Was it range or lack of flight planning?
I mean the other low fuel incident was technical it seems but no-one seems to be asking anything of this one? :eek:

31st Aug 2001, 00:43
Not all air rage is the fault of the passenger. I have observed this with my own eyes. I was on Delta 128 (ATL-DUB) on the 22d December. I was travelling with my wife in Business class. As we were approaching Dublin the FA announced that they were distributing landing cards as they "were required by the British special branch". I don't think she had the faintest idea of the implications of what she had just said or that Irish people might find her comment just a tad offensive. She then started arguing with several irate business class passengers about whether the cards were in fact needed. She seemed to be unaware that the republic of Ireland is a seperate country from the UK. She had a "full and frank exchange of views with forcefull opinions being expressed by both sides" with a man who my wife recognized as the head of a major irish government overseas trade organization. At no time to he physcially or verbally threaten her. On our arrival at the gate we were met by the police, who rapidly lost interest once they discovered how the incident started.

The point of all this is that creating blacklist databases or giving aircrew draconian powers has to be reconciled with the fact that they too are human beings and prone to mistakes of judgement. I observed staff of a highly reputable and respected US airline attempt to get a senior business figure arrested simply because he had reacted to what was by his standards extreme provocation. We have an existing legal system that is capable of handling situations like this. It tends not to get used as often as it should.

As for Alcohol - the time has come to stop the unlimited supplies of free beverages. one or two is fine but more than that is asking for trouble.


31st Aug 2001, 01:28
In Oz, pubs etc. that serve alcohol are required to employ licensed 'crowd controllers' (bouncers). Why are airlines any different? All part of responsible alcohol service.

31st Aug 2001, 09:23
Some "good" news out of HK/Malaysia for once:

Drunk's threat delays flight
HONGKONG - An aggressive drunk held up the departure of a Cathay Pacific flight from Dubai by threatening to blow up the plane with a bomb, a Cathay spokesman confirmed yesterday.

The incident took place on a Bahrain-bound flight yesterday as the plane was preparing to take off.

A male passenger demanded to be served an alcoholic drink. When flight attendants refused, 'he threatened to blow up the plane with a bomb', said Cathay spokesman Lisa Wong.

The captain took the plane back to the gate where the man was asked to disembark. A search found no bomb, Ms Wong added. --AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia Airlines had barred a passenger from boarding a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Brisbane because of his poor behaviour on a previous trip, the airline said.

The passenger, who was not identified, had been detained by police upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month.

Mr Mohamadon Abdullah, the airline's senior general manager for corporate services, said in a statement that unruly passenger behaviour which bothered passengers and flight attendants had increased in recent years.

There had been 20 reported incidents of unruly passenger behaviour so far this year, the airline said. There were 96 cases in 1998, 60 in 1999 and 52 last year.

The latest case happened earlier this month. It involved a 28-year-old British businessman who was arrested for criminal intimidation and causing grievous hurt on board an MAS flight.

It was reported that he began harassing a few other travellers on board the plane and allegedly grabbed a knife from a food tray and threatened a steward .

He subsequently threw the knife and the tray onto the floor of the cabin and began swearing at the steward.

When the steward stooped to clean up the mess, the businessman allegedly assaulted him.

Other cabin crew members, helped by a few passengers, overpowered the man and restrained him.

He was later handcuffed and placed under arrest when the plane landed at Kuala Lumpur airport.

In July, a 41-year-old garment distributor was detained at the airport for molesting two cabin crew members. --AP


31st Aug 2001, 14:52
Before getting into tracking databases, passport stamps, legislation etc for air ragers (is that a word?) It may be useful for all concerned to think about what the problem is and whether thereis not adequate means currently available to control it.

1. All the activities that "real" air rage involves (threats to do thus and so to the A/C, keeping the crew from doing their jobs, assulting crew and/or passengers, carving one's initials in the seat etc.) are against current law or regulations, at least in the U.S. Maybe recodifying all the provisions in one place in the statutes and one in regulations could help, but I don't think new laws or rules are needed.

2. The alcohol question is really easy...if they are drunk don't let them on, if they start to get drunk cut off the alcohol or whatever other thing they are getting drunk on. I know some drunks are "happy drunks" and some drunks are "mean drunks" but the common denominator is they are all drunk and out of control and that has no place on an aircraft.

3. The post re the Delta flight and Republic of Ireland is an excellent example of why more draconian rules, "guilty until proved innocent" procedures and such are not necessarily useful.

Lets figure out a common objective definition is of "air rage" (a poor term coined by the tabloid press I bet) in the different countries and maybe ICAO will start keeping track of it.

31st Aug 2001, 15:24
The Delta flight and Republic of Ireland post is amazing. That FA should have been arrested for insulting behaviour, and Delta told that she was no longer acceptable as aircrew flying to Ireland.

This is from an Englishman, too.

31st Aug 2001, 22:16
Some further info regarding my bizarre Delta experience -

Because it was effectively the last flight out before Xmas and the crew would be spending Xmas Day in Dublin the normal bunch of seasoned veterens who fly the route had been replaced by an essentially random crew of replacements, none of whom had enough years to control their destiny. For some of them this was the first trip to Europe! As a result they collectivly comitted a huge faux pas.

The point I think I've made is that giving crews draconion powers to arbitrarily ban people from travel would be a huge mistake.

As for the Alcohol Issue - How much research has been done on the combined effects of Alcohol from drinking, Mild hypoxia from pressurization/ac systems being run at half power, prior usage of ciggaretes, travel stress and claustrophobia? I did a chamber ride at Edwards AFB once and the person next to me become noticbly irritable and cranky as the altitude was 'increased'. I'm not defending Air Rage but their may be a subset of the population who can't cope with the environmental stresses of modern air travel if they've been drinking.


1st Sep 2001, 02:34
Well, speaking for myself(I think I'm the only one qualified to do so), I have done a lot of research into flying and alchohol consumption and one is no less boring than the other. :p

1st Sep 2001, 03:41
Flying back from Houston to the UK a couple of years ago, back in steerage, I was dismayed to see a big guy staggering drunkenly toward the aisle seat next to me.

For the next 11 hours he asked for, and was served, beers - 2 at a time. By the time we got to London he'd wet himself and was so drunk the flight attendant checked his pulse when she couldn't rouse him to put his seatbelt on.

I wrote to the airline about all this and their response, in essence, was that it was better for him to be comatose than causing trouble. I guess I agree, but I've always felt they missed the point somewhere.

1st Sep 2001, 04:00
The British authorities seem to have a reasonably effective method of dealing with football hooligans and preventing them from traveling to foreign punch-em-ups, sorry - sports meets. Surrender passports, report to your local police station on the day of the match etc.

Given the will, an enforcement strategy could be worked out for established air ragers. Individual airlines doing it solo, perhaps not. but take it to a higher level... ICAO, IATA, Interpol and maybe some controls could work.

1st Sep 2001, 17:46
To Captain James Bigglesworth and others who have reiterated his point, that there will never be an acceptable excuse for the intimidation or assaulting of crew or other passengers- Here, here!

These absolute plebs who conduct themselves in such a manner, spoil flights for hundreds of other passengers and degrade the quality of life in the workplace for aircrew around the world. Only a complete and utter imbecile would expect that this kind of behaviour could somehow remedy poor service or some other grievence!

The punishment should be swift, clear and effective and I quite agree with those of you who have suggested that (in extreme cases) they be banned from airline travel for life. This sends a clear, unambiguous message that their conduct will never be tolerated.

However, to exact justice and balance frivolous claims of "air rage", there needs to be an internationally recognized system in place, to judge individuals accused of breaching the peace, to preclude passengers ,and perhaps crew themselves, of being unfairly accused of misconduct.

Perhaps ICAO could legislate and administrate such a system?

[ 01 September 2001: Message edited by: CAVU ]

1st Sep 2001, 18:51
Fly Pastpastfast:

Yeah, cargo argues. It's called "hazmat."
Probably less paperwork with rioting pax.

1st Sep 2001, 19:09
i agree alcohol should be banned, not just from on board aircraft, but also from departure lounges. Having long delays can only add to the situation. I also think that passengers should have the right to know exactly what is happening to their flight and not be fobbed off by ground staff who really don't care what happens to their passengers. The attitude seems to be "it's not my problem - see someone else". The crew then have to deal with angry passengers who will take out their frustration on the nearest person with a uniform on!

basil fawlty
2nd Sep 2001, 13:12
Over consumption of alcoholic beverages before and during a flight is just one of the contributory factors in air rage incidents. However, IMHO all of these air rage problems really started increasing in number when airlines started to prohibit smoking on flights. How many of those people involved are smokers? Quite a lot I would imagine. Ten hours on an aircraft without the opportunity of "lighting up" is a very long time for some people to go without a cigarette; This increases anxiety levels, and coupled with the vast quantities of booze that is available which relaxes inhibitions, the result is air rage. In addition boredom, being treated like cattle, and the riff raff element that have access to air travel these days, are all contributory elements too. The answer? Well bring back smoking "zones" on flights (yes I know the smoke drifts around anyway!) or carry electic cow prods to maintain some discipline if things start to get out of hand!!

2nd Sep 2001, 19:05
I think Basil Fawlty raised an interesting issue. I have been flying as SLF for 30yrs now (OMG..am I really that old!!) and I can't recall air-rage as an issue in my early days of flying. I have been fortunate to fly both in Business aswell as Economy and rarely with charter airlines but on reflection it is only since airlines have banned smoking that incidents seem on the increase. Maybe the solution should be for all SLF to be asked at check-in if they are smokers and if they are for them to be issued a Nicotine patch...after all going "cold turkey" if you are a nicotine addict (add to that alcohol, maybe stress at flying if you are not a happy or frequent flier) must be hell!

I am an infrequent smoker these days -I used to smoke quite heavily but chose to not smoke several years back but still permit myself a cigarette when the occasion seems to create the demand! I am lucky - when I quit it was of my own volition! So many spend months trying to give up that when airlines require it instantly there is probably some medical situation brewing!

My apologies for a "from the gut" response, I am not a Dr but if there is one on pprune maybe he/she can give input here. This could be a/the solution!


2nd Sep 2001, 23:37
Airlines would be in a very tenuous position indeed if they started issuing drugs to people for whatever reason at all. Ever tried to get an aspirin on board?

I agree that refraining from smoking in-flight may well be an issue in some "air rage" cases.

However, I do not consider it an excuse for the sort of behaviour that we have been hearing about far too often.

Furthermore, (and I speak as a smoker myself) since everyone knows that the vast majority of airlines now an smoking, I would not have thought it was beyond the wit even of people like these to plan ahead and arm themselves with patches, gum, inhalers - whatever works for them.

Sorry - no sympathy with smoking as a "cause".

tony draper
2nd Sep 2001, 23:48
Don't you think this could just be a reflection of western society in general?.
I get the impression that everyone is walking around in a perminent bad temper nowadays, people all seem loud and pushy no matter what the situation.
Just bump into someone in the street now and your liable to be involved in a slanging match,a few years ago, you would have both apologised and went on your way.

3rd Sep 2001, 00:11
Well Air Rage certainly is fast becoming a major problem with the airlines. But can it be helped or are we generally flying a vast crowd of ill-behaving morons around the skies who are far beyond help ? Could be, but for the "borderliners" it might help if:

1) Staff, air and ground, are better trained to deal with these individuals. A psychology course might help.

2) Our passengers are fed true and accurate information at all times. Even if it might be embarrasing for the airline, the truth always wins in the end and will help to defuse a "hot" situation.

3) Banning alcohol, both in flight and in airports, is so far beyond my train of thought that it almost hurts. Punishing the masses because a few can't control themselves is not the solution in my opinion. But CC in particular should perhaps pay more attention to what they serve and to whom. Secondly, it could be ruled that all duty free must be surrendered at the gate and loaded below. At least this will stop people from drinking their own. But will it work operationally ? I doubt it ...

4) SPACE ! Yes, the bean-counters says it is not possible, but surely giving people back in steerage (often there myself) a bit more space will work wonders. I am not a particularly big or tall fellow, but on a charter "cattle transporter" even I am using a shoehorn to get in the seat.

5) Smoking. Right, I'm going to get flogged for this one but what the h*ll. On long-haul airlines should consider installing some kind of small cabins, sealed off from the rest of the cabin and with seperate air extractors, with enough space to hold 5-10 pax and a softdrink trolley.

Anybody here who thinks millions could be made if we started a "smokers only" airline and start flying, say, London-Hong Kong or Paris-Tokyo ? 2 classes only, smokers and heavy smokers ;)

[ 02 September 2001: Message edited by: PsychoDad ]