By Samuel Kutty — MUSCAT: Jan. 8 – To keep a check on unruly behaviour of passengers, Air India will now keep restrainers such as plastic handcuffs on board all its international and domestic flights. This was announced by Ashwani Lohani, Chairman of Air India, after some reported incidents of molestation cases on board Air India flights. “We used to carry restrainers only on our international flights but will now have them on both domestic and international flights. All our aircraft will have two pairs of restraining devices,” Ashwani was quoted as reported by Indian media. “The safety of passengers and aircraft is paramount,” he said. According to the Air India cabin crew manual, “restraining a pax (passenger) is one of the last steps and should be done only if the matter is totally out of control.”
Incidents of in-flight misbehaviour have been on the rise in recent times. On December 21, a man was arrested for groping a woman on an Air India flight from Mumbai to Newark while she was asleep. Another incident was reported on January 2, where a man flying from Muscat to Delhi by Air India was arrested after the air hostess complained that he had “inappropriately touched her” and used improper language. Passengers who endanger the safety of a flight or are a threat to the other flyers will be restrained to their seats using plastic handcuffs. “As more and more people take to the skies, the number of such incidents is bound to rise. At times, it becomes necessary to deal with misbehaving passengers. So as a preventive measure, all airlines keep restraining device (tie-wraps),” an airline executive, was quoted as saying by Business Times.