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Rising number of incidents involving unruly passengers


Clashes with defiant passengers on board aircraft are becoming more and more frequent. The airline association IATA is concerned – and calls on the states to help contain the problem.

The number of incidents involving unreasonable passengers has increased. The Airline Association (IATA) is concerned about the growing problem of defaulting passengers.

While an incident was reported on an average of one in 835 flights in 2021, every 568th flight was affected last year. “The growing trend is worrying,” said IATA Deputy Director General Conrad Clifford at the General Assembly in Istanbul.

Ryanair is known for cheap ticket prices.

Smoking, drinking, swearing

In most cases, disputes on board are about passengers who do not comply with regulations and safety instructions. It was not just the refusal to wear a mouth and nose cover to contain the corona pandemic that led to conflicts last year. Even after this regulation was lifted, the number of incidents has increased, according to IATA.

Passengers illegally smoked in the toilets, drank alcohol they had brought with them or refused to buckle up. The quarrels usually culminated in the insults to the flight crew. Violent attacks are rarer: in 2022 there was arithmetically one such attack per 17,200 flights.

States should create legal frameworks

The airline association IATA is now demanding support from the states. They are intended to enshrine penalties for unruly passengers in the law, regardless of where they come from or which airline they were on board. In airports, bars and “duty-free” shops there, information campaigns should inform guests about the consequences of illegal behavior even before the flight.