Watch: An Emirates passenger was tied down after trying to head-butt flight attendant

Over the last year, flight attendants have been sounding the alarm about the spike in passenger violence they face while trying to do their jobs. Tyesha Best, who has been working at JetBlue Airways  (JBLU)  for almost ten years, said that she has at different times seen travelers hit flight attendants, urinate in a bottle and threaten to spill it in the cabin and call colleagues some of the vilest names imaginable.

“As much as we want to connect travelers with their families, they also should understand that we are airline employees that would also like to connect with our families when we come home from work,” Best told TheStreet in a December 2023 interview. “That becomes difficult when we are subject to assault.”

Related: Two U.S. marshals were the disruptive ones on this flight to London

The latest incident to garner international attention occurred on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Islamabad. In cell phone footage first captured by Pakistani journalist Amir Mateen, a man in jeans and a leather jacket is seen trying to head-butt a flight attendant before two other members of the plane’s crew tie him down to restrain him.

This happened in Dubai flight to Islamabad this morning. Sent by a passenger who remained terrified during the flight: “Drunk guy extremely violent. Restrained and handcuffed by emirates cabin crew but I think Pak authorities let him go as he was well connected.” Q: who was he…

— Amir Mateen (@AmirMateen2) February 25, 2024

Passenger films drunk passenger: ‘Who was he and was he let off?’

“This happened in Dubai flight to Islamabad this morning,” Mateen wrote in the caption to the post which also mentioned that another passenger said the man in the video was intoxicated and “extremely violent … who was he and was he let off?”

More Travel:

A new travel term is taking over the internet (and reaching airlines and hotels)The 10 best airline stocks to buy nowAirlines see a new kind of traveler at the front of the plane

In a second video posted by Mateen, the man is seen being moved to a wheelchair and told to “drink some water” on the jetway once the plane had landed. According to information Mateen said came from another passenger on the flight, the passenger was ultimately let go by Pakistani authorities because he was “well-connected.”

“Who was he?” he wrote in the caption to the follow-up video. “Hope the law took its course as his violence could have threatened the whole flight.”

Rising passenger violence pushes some to demand firmer stance from airlines

The video ultimately went viral and was viewed nearly 130,000 times. Emirates, which has a reputation for being one of the most luxurious airlines in the world, has not been responding to press questions on what exactly went wrong on the flight.

While still very rare compared to the overall number of passengers moving through the air at a given time, the increase of traveler violence has pushed some professional associations and regulating bodies to advocate for a stricter crackdown.

Last fall, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) expressed support for a protocol that would give airlines flying over international borders their own jurisdiction to restrain and pass on an unruly passenger to law enforcement. 

Over 45 countries have signed onto the Montreal Protocol when it was first worked out in 2014, but the U.S. and Canada are not members of the treaty and instead prosecute incidents that occur in their airspace based on their own laws.

“The increasing trend of unruly passenger incidents is worrying,” IATA Deputy Director General Conrad Clifford said in July 2023. “Passengers and crew are entitled to a safe and hassle-free experience on board.”

Related Posts

Union Capital Financial Group Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands, does not provide investment services inside the United States. The company only provides consulting, advisory and educational services.