Airlines prepared for unruly passengers ahead of return to air travel

HALIFAX — Some Canadian airlines and flight crew members say they’re prepared for the resumption of air travel in Canada despite reports of increased in-flight disturbances.

Air Line Pilots Association Canada president Timothy Perry says flight crews have noticed an increase in unruly behaviour since the start of the pandemic but airline training and protocols should be enough to mitigate any issues.

Perry says flight crew training, which includes de-escalation strategies, will help protect the safety of the crew and passengers in the event of an onboard disturbance.

Air Canada also says it has seen an uptick in disturbances on flights since the beginning of the pandemic.

In the U.S., where air travel has increased significantly in recent weeks, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have announced the suspension of alcoholic beverage services because of incidents of passenger disruption.

WestJet says that while unruly situations are “extremely rare,” flight crews are trained to manage such incidents.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

— With files from The Associated Press

Companies in this story: (TSX:AC)

The Canadian Press

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