Flights of fury

Air rage events are becoming frequent, the recent smackdown — an enraged passenger punched the pilot — when an IndiGo flight from Delhi to Goa was delayed for 13 hours, is one of the many such incidents

It’s a battle of nerves. Of late, the weather hasn’t made flying easy, especially in the north of the country. While fogs lead to massive, frustrating delays, the airlines are making it even worse for passengers with their ‘chalta hai’ attitude. The recent incident of an enraged passenger. Sahil Kataria, punching an IndiGo pilot has turned attention on the increasing incidents of air rage. A viral video showed the crazy moment, it has received over 3.1 million views on X.

Anup Kumar Co-Pilot Flight no 6E2175 registered a police complaint with the Delhi police, regarding Sahil Katriya, who assaulted and misbehaved with him in a flight which was set to fly from Delhi to Goa.

Airline crew to blame too

Sanal Vij, a co-passenger of Sahil Kataria, who was arrested for assaulting the IndiGo pilot on the much-delayed flight, has shared his views on what happened in the run-up to the punching incident.

While asserting that he does not support violence, Vij took to X to say that the Delhi-Goa flight 6E2175, which was scheduled to take off at 7:40 am, had finally departed at 05:35 pm after facing “multiple delays”, with no proper information being provided by the IndiGo crew, and no arrangements being made by the airline for the comfort of the stranded passengers, including young children and elderly people. Giving a timeline of events in his post, Vij also accused IndiGo staff of resorting to “misinformation”, and said the crew were “observed being unprofessional”, adding that “multiple requests” from elderly passengers for water were ignored.”

“Violence is unacceptable, but what about Indigo’s mismanagement, unprofessionalism, and 185 passengers stranded without food for hours?” Vij said.

Emotional turbulence

Travel disruptions can be immensely frustrating, especially in situations involving significant delays, such as the one faced by passengers on January 15th. It is crucial to acknowledge the emotional toll that prolonged delays can have on individuals, but in no way do I condone any form of violence or aggression, as seen in the incident. Resorting to physical assault is not only unlawful but is also counterproductive in addressing the underlying issues that lead to such outbursts,” says Dr Prerna Kohli (MPhil, PhD), Clinical Psychologist and Founder,

Aviation Minister responds ‘Unruly behaviour won’t be tolerated’

Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia released a six-point action plan to tackle fog-related delays to domestic and international commercial aircraft operations, which have resulted in the delay or cancellation of hundreds of flights. He tweeted that steps are being taken “to mitigate the situation in the near future.” He also said that incidences of unruly behaviour amidst this are unacceptable, and will be dealt with strongly in line with existing legal provisions.

celebs vent too

Bollywood actor Ranvir Shorey, on Monday narrated his harrowing experience after his IndiGo flight was delayed for over 10 hours. In a lengthy post on X, he accused the airline of poor communication and providing misleading information.

Actor Radhika Apte recounted her airport ordeal on Saturday, in which travellers were held on an airport’s aerobridge for nearly three hours with no necessary arrangements. The Merry Christmas actress turned to Instagram to share videos and photographs of her condition.

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Dr Era, consultant Psychiatrist, TEDx Speaker, and Founder, Mind Wellness, says, some people have a greater sense of entitlement and expect to be catered to because they “pay” for services. Also, certain people may experience anger issues, which are medically referred to as Intermittent Explosive Disorder. “It involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, violent behaviour or angry, verbal outbursts, in which your reaction is grossly out of proportion to the situation,” she says, adding, “Such behaviour can be attributed to underlying psychiatric and neurological conditions where the brain doesn’t inhibit you in social settings.”

Remedial measures

According to experts, the crew/staff should be taught some simple talking down skills to employ with persons who cause mayhem on flights. In the run-up to the punching incident, the IndiGo Airlines staff allegedly failed to keep passengers informed and did not provide meals or water to passengers, including the elderly and children.

Interestingly, in the US, air marshals travel on planes in mufti. People are aware of this and refrain from misbehaving, even if inconvenienced.

“Both airlines and passengers can use positive approaches to address such situations. Airlines must prioritise clear communication and transparency. Timely updates on the causes of delays and schedule changes can manage passenger expectations,” says Dr Prerna. Developing a culture of understanding and empathy is critical.

While passengers’ anger over extended flight delays are understandable, turning to violence is never an appropriate answer. I strongly urge airlines and passengers to prioritise open communication, empathy, and understanding. By cultivating a culture of mutual respect, we can work together to reduce such instances and provide a safer and more enjoyable travel experience for all concerned. — Dr Prerna Kohli, Clinical Psychologist and Founder,

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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