Korean Air is beefing up its response to wild and unruly in-flight behaviour, ensuring that crew have access to Taser stun guns and the training and authority to fire them at disruptive passengers who go berserk or threaten crew.
The airline is revising its guidelines, to let crew react “firmly and actively against in-flight violence”, the BBC reported.
The move came after an in-flight incident in which US singer Richard Marx said he had intervened to help restrain a disruptive passenger in business class on a Korean Air flight from Hanoi to Seoul.
Crew appeared “ill-trained” and “ill-equipped” to deal with the problem, Marx said.
Marx’s wife Daisy Fuentes tweeted that a “crazy” passenger on the flight continued to push female staff and pull them by the hair for four hours.
“I feel horrible for the abuse the staff had to endure but no one was prepared for this,” Fuentes said. “They never fully got control of him. They didn’t know how to use the taser & they didn’t know how to secure the rope around him (he got loose from their rope restraints 3 times).”
Korean Air then issued a statement pledging from now on to “react more firmly and actively against in-flight violence that threatens the overall safety of the flight”.
“We have decided to improve our conditions and procedure on using Taser guns to cope with violent acts and disturbances on board in a fast and efficient manner.”
The airline also plans to hire more male flight attendants and ensure that at least one is aboard each flight. Violent and unruly passengers could find themselves Tasered and lashed to their seats.
Written by Peter Needham