On Sunday, a JetBlue flight heading to Los Angeles was forced to land in Las Vegas because a passenger would not stop biting and attacking others on the plane, CBS Los Angeles reported.
And on Saturday, a woman on a Southwest flight to Sacramento was arrested and charged with three felony counts of threats to commit a crime resulting in death or great bodily injury after she threatened to kill everyone on board the plane when she was caught smoking in the bathroom.
If it seems like these incidents are on the rise, you’re correct.
According to a recent study from the International Air Transport Association, severe situations involving air passengers who must be detained are increasing, rising from 113 in 2015 to 169 in 2016, USA Today reports.
IATA has seen a small decrease in the number of “unruly passenger” cases reported, from 10,854 in 2015 to 9,837 in 2016. But the organization reports that the “issue remains significant.”
What worries IATA officials is that the severity of the situations is increasing, Tim Colehan, IATA’s assistant director of external affairs, told USA TODAY.
“We saw an increase in incidents where all other forms of de-escalation had been exhausted and the cabin crew had no other option but to restrain the unruly passenger for the safety of everyone onboard,” he said.
The numbers break down to approximately 30 serious “unruly passenger” incidents on U.S. flights every day, Forbes reported.
Booze can be blamed as the number one instigator for unruly passengers, IATA reported. The organization notes that most of the incidents involved passengers providing their own alcohol or drinking before the flight.
Less than one percent of incidents involved life-threatening behavior or attempt to break into the cockpit, according to IATA.
In July, three people were injured trying to detain a man on a Delta flight who was attempting to break into the cockpit, CNN reports. He was charged with one count of interfering with a flight crew.
Passengers who exhibit serious unruly behavior aren’t always charged because of international laws, according to the IATA. Members are working on changing the legal framework so that more of these passengers are punished for the crime.
IATA noted that the data was taken from major 190 airlines, while there are more than 1,000 airlines in the world, so the number of incidents could be under-reported.