Misbehaved on flight? You might soon make it to ‘unfit-to-fly’ list and stopped from boarding
To keep instances of unruly passenger behaviour on flights in check, stakeholders in the Indian aviation industry are mulling over creating an ‘unfit-to-fly’ list to bar repeat offenders from boarding planes.
According to a Mumbai Mirror report, the decision was spurred by last Saturday’s incident, when a man on a Delhi-Mumbai Jet Airways flight created a minor scare.
The passenger, who was later revealed to be mentally unstable, threw away his food tray and threatened to take control of the flight and crash it.
While the passenger was eventually pinned down, sedated and handed over the security staff at the Mumbai airport, such instances are on the rise considering the steep rise in the number of flyers in the country.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) defines unruly passenger incidents as those involving violence against crew and other passengers, harassment, verbal abuse, smoking, failure to follow safety instructions and other forms of riotous behaviour.
Although the airline staff is trained to handle such instances, each poses a different threat as there is no saying what a passenger might do if he or she is in an inebriated state.
According to an International Air Transport Association (IATA) report, one in four cases of passenger misbehaviour can be traced to intoxication from alcohol or drugs.
While such instances are committed by a fraction of passengers, each incident threatens the safety and security of other passengers and crew, while increasing the operational cost of the airline.
A creation of an ‘unfit-to-fly’ list can help identify such high-risk passengers and ensure they are stopped on the ground and before boarding the plane.
“The strategies in this guidance would be most effective with an approach that is applied from the arrival at the airport all the way to the passenger cabin,” an MIAL official told the daily.