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Air rage (again)

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Air rage (again)

Old 22nd Aug 2001, 19:17
  #41 (permalink)  
Invalid Delete
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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.
Old 22nd Aug 2001, 19:39
  #42 (permalink)  
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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!!!!!
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Old 23rd Aug 2001, 13:14
  #43 (permalink)  
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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
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Old 23rd Aug 2001, 14:00
  #44 (permalink)  
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It's not only the pax that get wound up ... pilots can to! But Rod Rage??

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 500 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 500 compensation and 50 costs. [/quote]
Old 23rd Aug 2001, 14:51
  #45 (permalink)  

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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 120,000 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.
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Old 23rd Aug 2001, 21:29
  #46 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 23rd Aug 2001, 21:54
  #47 (permalink)  
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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!
Old 24th Aug 2001, 02:30
  #48 (permalink)  
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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.

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 ]
Old 28th Aug 2001, 13:05
  #49 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 28th Aug 2001, 18:12
  #50 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 28th Aug 2001, 18:27
  #51 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 29th Aug 2001, 00:07
  #52 (permalink)  
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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!
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Old 29th Aug 2001, 22:28
  #53 (permalink)  
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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.
Old 30th Aug 2001, 04:18
  #54 (permalink)  
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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..
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Old 30th Aug 2001, 15:57
  #55 (permalink)  
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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?
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Old 31st Aug 2001, 01:43
  #56 (permalink)  
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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.

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Old 31st Aug 2001, 02:28
  #57 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 31st Aug 2001, 10:23
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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

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Old 31st Aug 2001, 15:52
  #59 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 31st Aug 2001, 16:24
  #60 (permalink)  
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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.
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