11,000 cases of noise complaints on aircrafts were registered in 2015, an increase of 17 percent from the year before, according to the international flight cooperation organisation, IATA.
– People are more stressed today and tolerance is not as high, says Anette Jernström, who has worked as a flight attendant for almost 30 years.
In 2013 about 54 cases of noise complaints were reported in Sweden, and in 2015 the number of cases was 76, according to the Swedish Transport Authority.
The same trend also applies to a high degree in Norway, where the Civil Aviation Authority reported 96 cases in 2013. Over last three years, the number has stabilized at between 150 and 200 per year.
– Discussions and conflicts over people who will not put their computer in their backpack or refuse to put on their seatbelt, are part of our everyday life, says Jernström.
Tearing the doors
Although most cases are relatively harmless, cases of passengers threatening the security of the others on the plane has occurred.
Jernström tells of a man who was smoking on the airplane, and became very aggressive when he was told he was not allowed to do this. He began to harass others, and tearing the doors of the aircraft.
– We had to put him in one of the cabin crew seats and had to switch to sit and watch him the last hour of the journey. When we arrived at Copenhagen, he was taken care of by the security staff there, said the stewardess.
The Swedish union federation, which helps to organize cabin crew, says that several feel that the environment onboard the aircrafts has become tougher.
– There are fewer cabin crew per aircraft now than before, while the demands of passengers are stricter.
It causes more stress, and are in some cases a more hostile environment and poorer safety as consequence, says Nikita Nabavi, who is the ombudsman for Swedish cabin crew.
According to Jernström this in turn leads to the service suffering.
– Instead of being able to provide service, offers and being aware of cases of ill health, we instead need to confront aggressive passengers. It takes energy, she says.
The airline SAS, which also operates in Norway, says that they are looking very seriously into the growing problem of troublemakers on aircrafts.
– Especially when it comes to violent and aggressive behavior, we have seen an increase that we think is unacceptable, says Fredrik Henriksson, press spokesperson at SAS.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today