Friday, December 7, 2007

UK Air Rage Cases Soar, Or Do They?

Just when you thought it was safe to fly on a plane there’s news that air rage is back with reported cases up by nearly two-thirds last year. Cases increased from 1,359 to 2,219 in the year to March, with, according to the Scotsman, nearly all of them classed as "significant" - causing concern among industry leaders. Although there’s at least a crumb of comfort with the number of serious incidents, involving injury or the aircraft being diverted, increased by two to 58. As usual the demon drink was much to blame but arguments over seat allocation, seats being reclined and domestic disputes ate being cited as common causes.

Before you all get too worried the chance of being on a flight where there’s air rage is about 1 in 18,000, a year earlier it was 1 in 16,000. Likewise violence was involved in one in 12 cases - the lowest proportion for five years - with physical attacks on cabin crew down by six to 58.
Some three-quarters of all incidents were caused by male passengers, and most of those whose ages were reported or estimated were in their 30s. It’s not known how many have 2.2 children and drive a Ford Mondeo.

Of course the report caries the obligatory statement from a government minister, did you know Jim Fitzpatrick is the aviation minister? "This government introduced much stiffer maximum penalties for people acting in a threatening or disruptive way on aircraft, and I would like to praise airlines for their commitment to taking action against these passenger. The statistics show that in 235 reported incidents, passengers were removed from the plane, so ruining their own holiday as well as facing potential prosecution." Why do they bother to speak?

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