Last updated: 04:33 PM ET, Fri September 30 2016

What's Behind The Shocking Rise in Air Rage Incidents?

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | September 29, 2016

What's Behind The Shocking Rise in Air Rage Incidents?

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

A new study revealed Wednesday says the number of incidents involving unruly passengers on airplanes is on the rise.

According to a study conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), there were 10,854 air rage incidents reported by airlines across the world in 2015, which is up from the 9,316 incidents reported in 2014.

Last year, there was one unruly passenger incident for every 1,205 flights.

Since the IATA began tracking unruly passenger incidents in 2007, the numbers have risen dramatically, jumping from 339 reported incidents in the first year to the 10,854 reported in 2015.

READ MORE: Do First-Class Cabins Create More Air Rage?

The IATA found that 23 percent of the unruly passenger incidents involved alcohol or drugs, and the substances were consumed before boarding the plane or secretly during the flight. Another 11 percent of incidents involved physical aggression toward passengers, crew or the plane itself.

To combat the rise of unruly passenger incidents, the IATA is suggesting better training for airport bar and duty-free shop employees which could help cut the number of incidents in half. While airlines already have strong guidelines in place, the number of incidents proves more can be done.

On the other hand, the president of airline passengers’ advocacy group Travelers United, Charlie Leocha, believes the rise in unruly passenger incidents correlates more with the airlines' increased attempts to add more and more seats to their aircraft than the consumption of alcohol.

READ MORE: Passenger Punches Flight Attendant Over Sandwich

“We've always had alcohol sold at airports, we have always had alcohol served on aircraft,” Leocha told The AP. “The only difference today is that people now have less space and they are required to interact more intimately with other passengers.”

In addition, airlines are also trying to battle against the rise of unruly passenger incidents by asking more countries to ratify a 2014 treaty which “closes gaps in laws for dealing with unruly passengers.” Only six countries have ratified the pact thus far.


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