‘Drunken air rage on flights is putting other passengers and crew at risk’

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 09-07-2024
  • National
  • Photo Credit: Stock Image
‘Drunken air rage on flights is putting other passengers and crew at risk’

Unions and travel experts are warning that a "deeply concerning" increase in air rage incidents is putting flight staff and passengers at risk. It seems that every week now we are hearing of incidents on planes, particularly from the UK to the Canary Islands, usually fuelled by alcohol, that are leading to diversions, emergency landings, and police intervention.

Airlines have protocols in place for the eventuality that they have to deal with “disruptive” passengers, and social media is flooded with images and videos of people fighting, smoking, vaping, excessively drinking, and abusing cabin crew or other passengers.

Following recent incidents on flights from Edinburgh, Pat McIlvogue, an industrial officer with the union Unite, said that they have raised concerns with airlines and airports across Scotland.

He said: "The proliferation in incidents of anti-social behaviour and threats towards workers at airports and on flights is deeply concerning. It’s totally unacceptable that any worker has to confront threats of verbal or physical abuse, and the situation needs to be urgently addressed."

Travel writer Simon Calder said there had been a “worrying number” of recent incidents, saying "It seems as if drink fuelled air rage is back." Mr Calder added that some airlines blame airports, for letting passengers begin drinking before boarding a flight.

However, a spokesman for Edinburgh Airport stressed that bar staff would not serve passengers they believe to be drinking to excess.

He added: "As an airport we have processes in place to deal with passengers who are disruptive and we work closely with partners, including bars, restaurants and police, to deal with any issues which arise within the terminal."

Decisions on allowing passengers to board the plane is the responsibility of airline staff.