• Defusing air rage: Airlines should take a tough line against unruly VIP behaviour

    “Air rage” — or sudden and violent behaviour by a passenger affecting those who work on flights or associated people — is a menace that has led to civil aviation authorities issuing strict guidelines on deterrence and punishment for those responsible for such acts. In India, while the laws on unruly and disruptive behaviour in an airliner are clear, they are difficult to enforce when the perpetrators take the cover of their positions of power. The outrageous conduct of Ravindra Gaikwad, the Member of Parliament from Osmanabad who belongs to the Shiv Sena, with Air India staff after seeking a business class seat in an all-economy flight from Pune to Delhi, required more than just a legal response by the airline. The Air India cabin crew had its task cut out but handled the incident well as can be gleaned from raw video images of what transpired on March 23. The consequent steps taken by the national carrier and members of the Federation of Indian Airlines to put him on a “no-fly list” is a welcome one. While the Aircraft Rules of 1937 have outlined a course of actions to be taken after such disruptive behaviour, the application of a “no-fly list” is a new development and is in line with similar practices adopted in many countries. This practice should deter such outrageous actions by anyone, irrespective of whether the malefactor is in a position of power or not. Matt Tennyson Womens Jersey

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