Air rage incidents on the rise

Airplane in the sky as the sun setting

Air rage incidents on the rise. Credit: JFK_Photography/

Figures passed on to Sky News show that air rage has nearly tripled since 2019.

There were 1,028 cases reported by UK airlines in 2022 and in a bid to reduce these numbers MPs are considering a new law that would ban air rage offenders from all British carriers.

Many air rage incidents are recorded by passengers. Last August (2022) several passengers had to restrain a drunk man shouting and swearing at other passengers on a flight from Luton to Lithuania.

Another incident occurred as a plane landed from Gatwick to Crete and a fight between passengers broke out in the aisle during which one of the plane’s pilots was punched when he tried to break up the fight.

In 2019 a woman assaulted cabin crew on a flight back to Stanstead which resulted in two RAF jets being scrambled to escort the plane back to the UK. The woman had threatened to open the door mid-flight and was verbally abusing other passengers.

Although cabin crew are trained to deal with cases of air rage, it can take its toll and some staff receive counselling as a result of their experiences on a flight.

A former cabin crew staff member told Sky News that he would like to see the laws tightened with a national register that can be shared amongst all the airlines. He said, “People just get away with it and they cause so much stress and heartache.”

Currently, a person who is violent on one aircraft can be banned from that airline, but the information cannot be shared so the person can continue to fly with other companies. In view of this Conservative MP Gareth Johnson is introducing a new bill on 24 May.

The bill is aiming to have people who have caused problems on aircraft to be banned from flying for ”a specific period by a court”.

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Written by

Julia Cameron

Julia is an ex-pat writer from Brighton living in a small village close to the Andalucian town of Priego de Cordoba. When she's not working she enjoys reading, tracing her ancestry and swimming. She especially loves the summer when she can get down to the coast and chill on the beach.