Brawls breaking out in mid flight - like this one in early November that forced the pilot to reroute – are increasingly common. According to the latest research by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), anti-social behaviour is on the rise – up 17 per cent last year since 2014.
In total, almost 11,000 incidents were registered in 2015 – ranging from insults and lighting up cigarettes in the toilets, to physical aggression towards members of the crew or fellow passengers. IATA’s records indicate that about 1,200 incidents involved violent passengers last year. In nearly a quarter of these cases, bad behaviour was linked to excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs.
To punish the troublemakers, IATA wants to see stricter rules, updating current guidelines that date back to the Tokyo Convention in 1963. In order to do so, the 2014 Montreal Protocol must be signed by 22 more States. Over the last 12 months, 40 per cent of airlines have been forced to reroute a plane due to bad passenger behaviour.