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Aussie Air Rage Attacks Going Up

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The Office of Transport Security recorded 279 reports of altercations between passengers and other “unruly behaviour” in 2008, up 64 from 2007.

However, the Bureau of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Economics said Australian airlines carried 3.7 million less passengers.

Air rage assaults on cabin crew around the world have nearly doubled, with figures from the Civil Aviation Authority recording 99 “incidents of violence” in 2007-8, compared to 58 in the previous year.

“We are not surprised by the increase in reports of incidents,” said Australian Services Union secretary, Ingrid Stitt.

“Australian airports are chronically understaffed; airline companies are changing their policies and not explaining them enough to passengers.

“Companies are introducing new technology, which is causing confusion amongst the travelling public.”

Ms Stitt said Australia needs to increase airport customer service staffing levels, have better education of airport security systems.

“There needs to be zero tolerance by airport companies when staff are abused or subjected to poor behaviour by passengers,” she said.

Some of the year’s most shocking air rage incidents include a drunk and abusive passenger trying to open the door of a jumbo jet while the plane was more than 35,000 feet up.

The man abused other passengers before trying to open a door on the Boeing 767 flying from Gatwick to Cuba.

An American Airlines flight was diverted in mid-flight after a disturbed passenger stripped naked and tried to open an emergency exit.

Passengers on the Boston to Los Angeles flight said the man had undressed in one of the plane’s bathrooms before emerging naked in the cabin.

Flight attendants onboard a United Airlines flight were forced to duct tape a passenger to her seat after she allegedly hit the buttocks of one of the crew and fell on a blind passenger.

In June Australian Federal Police officers were called to the Qantas Club lounge after furious business class passengers booked on the Singapore-bound flight QF31 began abusing airline staff.

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