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Tuesday, September 1, 1998 Published at 20:33 GMT 21:33 UK


BA gives 'air rage' yellow card

British Airways crew deal with an 'air rage' incident

British Airways has introduced football-style yellow card warnings to troublesome passengers to combat the rising number of 'air rage' incidents.

The notices warn offenders they face arrest on touchdown unless they stop their behaviour.

Troublemakers will also be told they could be liable for diversion costs if their behaviour forces a captain to divert a flight to the nearest airport.

[ image: Cabin crews are first in the firing line for troublesome passengers]
Cabin crews are first in the firing line for troublesome passengers
BA says the move has been prompted by a four-fold rise in air rage incidents in the last three years. Last year, BA crews dealt with more than 260 disruptive passengers.

In July a BA jet was forced to land in Tenerife after a passenger, believed to be drunk, attempted to force his way into the pilot's cabin during a flight from Rio de Janeiro to London.

A British businessman who threatened to kill the pilot of a BA airliner and head-butt a fellow passenger was fined nearly £6,700 in May.

Pilot rage

His flight from London to Florida was forced to divert to Boston because of the incident.

Passengers ignoring no-smoking regulations will also get the warnings.

BA bans smoking on all of its flights and last year around 70% of the 260 serious incidents were smoking-related.

Smoking causes also rage in pilots.

In July, a pilot on a plane owned by BA bargain flight subsidiary Go kept his passengers waiting on the runway for 40 minutes demanding that a passenger who had smoked in the toilets come forward.

David Hyde, BA's director of safety, security and environment, said: "We hope the 'yellow card' system will prove the ultimate deterrent which, if ignored, can be used in court to ensure a successful prosecution.

"Cabin crew are usually the first in the firing line when it comes to dealing with air rage but they are certainly not alone when it comes to tackling it.

"They have the weight of the whole airline behind them."

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