Almost four in ten flight attendants have been physically abused by drunk or drugged up passengers, shocking statistics reveal
- Two thirds of crew say they’ve seen an increase in drinking and self-medication
- Half say they’ve been verbally assaulted by drunks or those on drugs on a plane
- Meanwhile, one in 12 have been sexually assaulted by drunks on an aircraft
Nearly four in ten flight attendants have been physically abused by drugged up passengers in the past year, shocking new statistics reveal.
Almost half have been verbally abused by travellers who are either drunk or under the influence of medication such as prescription painkillers, a study has shown.
And one in 12 say they have been sexually assaulted by drunks on an aircraft, the figures also show.
Shocking new statistics have revealed that four in ten flight attendants have been physically abused by drugged up or drunk passengers in the past year (stock picture)
The research, by Direct Line Travel Insurance, said that some fliers self-medicate on board or drink so much they would not be able to get off the plane without assistance in an emergency.
Over the past year, flight attendants say that an estimated five per cent of passengers would be too drunk or drugged to get off the plane unaided in the event of an emergency.
More than two thirds of cabin crew (68 per cent) say they have witnessed an increase of drinking and self-medication leading to 38 per cent being physically abused and seven per cent sexually assaulted while 46 per cent suffered verbal abuse, all in the past year.
Direct Line questioned 100 flight attendants and more than 2,000 passengers to find the problem is now commonplace even though passengers can face fines of up to £5,000 and two years in prison for drunken or disruptive behaviour.
There is a growing concern over holidaymakers and other fliers drinking round the clock thanks to the 24-hour availability of alcohol in airports.
And taking both legal and illegal drugs before getting on a plane or during a flight is becoming a problem for staff who have to deal with unruly passengers.
Many of those taking prescription and other drugs claim it helps to calm nerves if they have a fear of flying – 24 per cent of those who take medication take anti-depressants or anti-anxiety pills such as Prozac, while 21 per cent take sleeping tablets.
Muscle relaxants and illegal drugs are other popular ways of calming those fears, said the survey, while one in four simply stick to booze.
However, many appear to be mixing drugs and alcohol, according to Direct Line head of travel insurance, Tom Bishop.
One in 12 cabin crew say they have been sexually assaulted by drunks on an aircraft, the figures also show (stock image)
He said: ‘It is shocking to see the scale of abuse flight attendants are forced to endure as they are trapped onboard with self-medicated and drunken passengers behaving erratically and inappropriately.
‘Passengers often don’t know how they will react in the air, due to a combination of the effects of medication, alcohol and changes in air pressure.
‘While everyone wants an enjoyable journey, people need to moderate their drinking when flying to ensure they are always in control and only take prescribed medication in the correct dosage.
‘Those nervous or anxious about flying should explore alternative options to calm themselves or seek medical advice from their GP.’