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You Can Do Whatever You Want on a Plane, and That’s Not Cool

You Can Do Whatever You Want on a Plane, and That’s Not Cool
Jackie Reddy

In-flight incidents involving disruptive passengers are now all too common, but as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports, not all who misbehave are punished to the full extent of the law. Because of this, IATA is calling upon member states to endorse MP14, which would ensure that unruly passengers are dealt with appropriately.

Incidents involving disruptive passengers are, sadly, nothing new. According to the latest figures released by the IATA, there is one disruptive passenger on every 1,053 flights around the globe and safety infractions are the most common kind of disruptive incident, constituting 49% of all reported incidents. The next most common kind of disruptive incident? Infractions involving intoxication and smoking which constitute 27% and 24% of all reports, respectively.

However, while bad behavior is always the fault of the perpetrator, airlines could be doing more to make sure that offenders don’t become repeat offenders. Says the IATA, part of the problem behind high numbers of disruptive incidents on planes is that there’s not really any system in place to reprimand passengers who, say, get so drunk onboard they try to open the emergency exit door or bring cameras onboard to film up flight attendants’ skirts.  “Committing an offense on board doesn’t automatically mean an individual is prosecuted, as under international law it is the authorities in the state where the aircraft is registered that have jurisdiction over offenses committed onboard.”

In light of this, the IATA is urging nations to adopt the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Montreal Protocol 2014 or MP14. This piece of legislation, the body explains, “…gives the state of scheduled landing the necessary jurisdiction to deal with unruly passengers, and also covers third-party countries in case a flight is re-routed.”

However, IATA states that this protocol will only be enforced once it has been given an endorsement by 22 of its member states. Currently, MP14 has 21 signatories, the latest of which are Kazakhstan, Paraguay, and Turkey.

[Featured Image: iStock]

View Comments (5)


  1. tryathlete

    September 17, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    This week I saw a passenger bring a tightly packed one quart baggie completely filled with small airline whiskey bottles. What kind of passenger needs this much alcohol in their carry-on?

  2. Moyerclan

    September 18, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    An alcoholic who plans ahead?
    I won’t fault them for *having it, but if they were to try to drink it all then I’d be annoyed.

  3. JustAnotherTraveler

    September 18, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    A thirsty one that doesn’t trust the baggage handlers not to help themselves… I personally applaud the passenger for removing any temptation from said group so they can ensure my bag correctly gets routed to my final destination.

  4. vindor

    September 22, 2019 at 11:26 am

    I actually do that sometimes with 50 cl bottles of rare whiskies I find in Japan. They’re under the list for carry on and its not like I’ll be drinking them on the plane.

  5. weero


    September 30, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    In in 1053 flights is nothing.

    That definitely does not warrant to give airlines and grumpy flight attendants Gestapo powers.

    And any airline whose seats are less than 18″ wide and offer less than 32″ pitch are 30% co-guilty for disruptive behavior.
    They are not victims but an accessory to crime.

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