Airlines and airports sign zero tolerance pact on unruly passengers following rise in incidents

Airlines and airports sign zero tolerance pact on unruly passengers following rise in incidents

AIRLINES and airports in Ireland have signed a joint declaration confirming a zero tolerance approach to unruly passengers as the busy summer season gets underway.

Figures from 2109 to 2023 show a three-fold increase in incidents where passengers have disrupted flights to and from Ireland with ‘unruly behaviour’, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has confirmed today.

“Unruly behaviour can include intoxication, aggressive or inappropriate behaviour as well as not following the commands of flight crew, who are there to ensure passenger safety,” they explained.

In a bid to combat the behaviour, the IAA and a range of industry stakeholders have launched their declaration on unruly passenger behaviour in airports and on flights as part of their #NotOnMyFlight campaign.

There has been a three-fold increase in unruly passenger incidents in Ireland

“Flying should be an enjoyable and positive experience for passengers,” Jim Gavin, IAA Chief Operations Officer, said.

“Whilst incidents associated with unruly passenger behaviour occur on only a small number of flights, they can have a significant impact on flight crew, other passengers and even affect the safety of the flight,” he added.

“We want to remind passengers that their actions can have a direct impact on both the safety of crew and others on board an aircraft,” he explained.

“We are facilitating this meeting today to look at how we as an aviation industry can address unruly behaviour on flights and put steps in place to ensure passengers and flight crew can have a safe and positive flying experience.”

All Irish airlines and airports, An Garda Síochana, AirNav Ireland, ground handlers and international aviation organisations have signed up to the campaign, which requires them to “recognise the need to actively promote good passenger conduct due to the adverse impact that disruptive and unruly behaviour can have on the safety of a flight and passenger experience”.

By signing the joint declaration, each organisation pledges it will not tolerate any behaviour that has the “potential to disrupt the passenger experience, impact the safety of the cabin crew and airport staff or create a safety risk to the aircraft and those on board the flight”.

This includes physical and sexual assault, threatening and abusive behaviour and generally disruptive acts, the IAA explains.

Aer Lingus is among the airlines signed up to the campaign.

Lynn Embleton, Chief Executive at the airline, said “nothing is more important than safety” for them.

“We understand that a comfortable and respectful environment is key to ensuring your journey is a pleasant experience,” she said.

“Aer Lingus does not tolerate unruly behaviour of any kind, and in the rare cases where unruly behaviour does occur, we have strict measures in place to ensure that the safety and comfort of our customers and crew is maintained.”

Niall Kearns, Airport Director at Shannon Airport, added: “We are proud to join our colleagues across the aviation industry in launching the #NotOnMyFlight campaign.

“As we head into the peak travel season, it's essential that we address the increasing issue of unruly passenger behaviour head-on.

“By working together, we can ensure a safe and respectful environment for all passengers and staff.”