Now, flights to restrain unruly passengers on board with handcuffs

NEW DELHI: Owing to instances of unruly behaviour of passengers in flights, Indian carriers can now carry restrainers (plastic handcuffs) to bind such travellers to their seats till the plane makes a safe landing, reports a leading English daily.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has permitted airlines to carry restrainers with them, a Jet Airways official has said. “The DGCA’s nod came in end-2015. We will have restrainers on board shortly and use them in the interest of flight safety as and when required,” the official said.

An IndiGo statement said that as per the DGCA guidelines, crew members must try to placate the situation and must only use the restrainer when verbal communication and written notice fail to resolve the matter. “Restraining devices should be used when all conciliatory approaches have been exhausted,” the statement said.
The airlines will use the restrainers to bind the passenger to his/her seat if he/she creates issues which threaten the safety of the flight.
IndiGo says that it carries nylon ropes as restrainers in all its flights. Spicejet has said that it carries handcuffs on all its airlines. Vistara has said that it takes adequate measures for tackling unruly behaviour.
At least 70 passengers were offloaded from a Raipur-bound Indigo flight at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport last Saturday on the grounds of “unruly behaviour”, following which the fliers lodged a complaint with airport police alleging they were harassed by the airline staff.
The passengers, who as a group were travelling to Raipur from Hyderabad, were trying to exchange seats among themselves. An altercation erupted between the cabin crew and two-three members of the group over this.
“The cabin crew then called the ground staff to assist them. The situation worsened and led to the extent of offloading of passengers,” airport police inspector T Sudhakar said. He said the passengers in a complaint alleged that they were harassed by the airline’s staff and the flight took-off without handing them their check-in baggage.
The airline in a statement said the passengers were offloaded “on the grounds of unruly behaviour” and an FIR has been lodged with local police in this regard.

With agency inputs