New policy to ban badly behaved passengers from all airlines

airplane taking off at sunset....



The number of air rage incidents on UK airlines has quadrupled over the last three years, it has been revealed.

There were 386 dangerous incidents in 2015, compared to 114 in 2014 and 85 in 2013, according to figures seen by BBC Radio 5 live Investigates.

The statistics, compiled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), come after budget airline Jet2.com banned the sale of alcohol before 8am on its flights as part of a commitment to tackle disruptive and abusive behaviour.

Phil Ward, managing director of the airline, said so far this year it had issued life-long bans to 22 passengers.

He told BBC Radio 5 live Investigates that the aviation industry should adopt a "banned by one, banned by all" policy to deter bad behaviour.

"I think it would act as a very strong deterrent and in fact there is some work with all the airlines together going on to bring that to the table, to see if that can be correctly arranged between us all," he told the programme.

"It's not going to happen overnight. But it's something we've all agreed is a good practical solution, we just need to work out how to do it between us consistently, so that it's managed correctly."

Mr Ward told BBC Radio 5 live that problems are often caused by passengers drinking ahead of their flights in airport bars.

"You can see it every day where people are drinking pints at six in the morning," he said.

"I'm not trying to spoil people's holidays at all but it's not normal to drink a pint at six in the morning and that then manifests itself on-board the airplane where the alcohol takes a greater effect."

Jet2.com announced it had banned alcohol on early-morning flights last month.

It said it was the first airline in Europe to make the move and called on others to follow its lead.

The Department for Transport said it supported efforts to tackle the problem and welcomed the British Air Transport Association's Code of Practice, which was recently published.

The code, supported by airlines, airports, the police and retailers, aims to create a consistent approach to minimise disruptive passenger behaviour.

A spokesman said: "Passengers who become disruptive on flights cause distress to other travellers, create knock-on delays to other flights, and in rare cases can even put flight safety at risk."

"Passengers should be able to enjoy journeys from the UK's airports without having their journeys spoilt by a disruptive minority," he added.


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Mid-air meltdowns
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Mid-air meltdowns

In 2010, a flight from Omsk to Vladivostok was grounded after one of the passengers started running around the plane naked. "The young man suddenly jumped off his seat, quickly took all his clothes off, and started shouting and darting around the cabin,” Siberian transport police representatives said. The man was taken to a clinic upon landing.

In May 2011, terrified passengers on board an Easyjet plane had to overpower a British man who twice tried to open a cabin door mid-flight at 35,000ft between Krakow, Poland and Edinburgh. Witnesses said the the man lunged for the door handle but was quickly tackled by staff and fellow passengers as the aircraft's pilots were forced to land at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. 

In August 2012, two passengers threw a wobbly because their airline didn't have any X-L sized pjyamas. Their Qantas flight was delayed as air stewards tried to pacify the pair but they were so indignant that they refused to fly and demanded to get off the plane. Quite right too. There's nothing worse than ill-fitting jim-jams at 30,000ft.

A Thomas Cook flight from Manchester to the Canary Islands had to do a U-turn after a passenger became so agressive that he had to be pinned down by five people. The 50-year-old man, who appeared to have been drinking, apparently got into a violent argument with an elderly passenger - believed to be his father - and began swinging wild punches, witnesses said. The plane landed and the unruly passenger was immediately arrested.

In January 2012, a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta to Costa Rica had to be diverted because a couple from Germany reportedly refused to sit down unless they were given champagne. The pair, who were seated in first class, denied the incident, but the Delta Airlines captain took the precaution of making a diversion to Florida, where they were removed from the flight.

Even pilots have their moments, as we discovered from the JetBlue pilot who suffered a mid-air meltdown in March 2012 while in charge of a flight between New York and Las Vegas. Three hours into their flight, passengers were terrified when they heard him banging doors and running around the aircraft yelling about terrorism, and screaming: 'We're all going down!". The pilot had to be wrestled to the floor by passengers and locked out of the cockpit, and an off-duty pilot who was on board helped the plane make an emergency landing. The Jetblue pilot was later found not guilty of interfering with a flight crew for reasons of insanity.

Back in March 2012, one airline stewardess appeared to completely lose the plot when she started screaming about 9-11 and how the plane was going to crash. American Airlines flight 2332 from Dallas was taxiing along the runway when the attendant suddenly started screaming hysterically. Terrified passengers had to pin her down and the plane returned to base, where police arrested her, still kicking and screaming.

In July 2012, a passenger on an Alaska Airlines flight faced legal charges after he exploded into an expletive-ridden tirade against a woman in front of him - because she wouldn't turn off her reading light. The 50-year-old man, who was on a flight from Honolulu to Bellingham International Airport in Washington, threatened to keep kicking the back of her chair is she didn't turn off the light.

In August 2011, passengers travelling to London from Moscow on a bmi flight got more than they bargained for when a drunk female passenger started performing erotic dances in the aisles. The Airbus had to return to Domodedovo half an hour after take off when the woman started "harrassing" passengers. The woman was subsequently removed from the flight and taken to hospital for medical tests. The airline said it had considered fining her for the delay...

A toddler meltdown led to an entire family being kicked off a flight from Boston to the Caribbean in March 2012. Collette Vieau's two-year old daughter Natalie started crying and refused to sit in her seat. Although the family eventually managed to strap her in, the JetBlue pilot decided it was unsafe to fly with her on board and the family had to disembark. As there were no more flights that evening, the family had to pay $2,000 for hotel accommodation and to rebook their flights...

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