facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Will Airlines Finally Crack Down on Drunk Passengers?

The IATA adopted new guidelines to weed out drunks before they climb aboard and try to grope other passengers.

Image: 

Everyone gets a little crazed, right? Photo via

By Shawn Dwyer

06/05/14

| Share

In a recent major airline conference in Qatar this week, the International Air Transport Association finally began dealing with the costly problem of unruly drunks on flights.

Culling incident reports made between 2010-2013, the IATA, which represents some 240 airlines worldwide, proposed a new set of guidelines and said that members “unanimously adopted a resolution that calls on governments and industry” to help solve a growing problem that can cost airlines hundreds of thousands of dollars per diverted flight.

In the three-year time frame studied, there were 20,000 incidents where passengers were unruly. Everything from “physical assault” to “failing to follow lawful crew instructions” were reported during that time. But there were more serious incidents reported, including “consumption of illegal narcotics, sexual harassment, and physical or verbal confrontation or threats.”

Since airlines are prone to not taking any chances, even the most minor of incidents can lead to an emergency landing, which can wind up costing a ton of money. While not all incidents involved alcohol or illicit drugs, many of them did. In 2011, one incident involved “two intoxicated business executives” physically and verbally abusing both the airline crew and fellow passengers to the point where the flight had to be diverted off its transpacific flight path.

One of the most bizarre incidents came in January 2013 on an Icelandair flight, where a 47-year-old Icelandic man was so heavily intoxicated that he began choking and spitting at other passengers, leading passengers to secure him in a seat with duct tape.

The old guidelines were vague and frustrating; one stated that “it is important to distinguish behavior that may simply be a person’s personality trait from behavior that might be a result of cultural background rather than unruly behavior.” But now, airlines will allow airport and wait staffs more authority to monitor alcohol intake and refuse service. The new proposals now await ratification from government representatives, airlines, and airports.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Proud to be Sober, Proud to be Catholic

I noticed a decided anti-Catholic bent at the AA meetings I was attending, but my sobriety has only benefited from my religious upbringing.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv