Next time you want to disrupt a flight or indulge in any sort of unruly behaviour aboard a passenger plane, think again. You might just end up in handcuffs in the plane.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed airlines to carry restrainers like plastic handcuffs to control unruly passengers and keep them seated till the flight lands safely, reports IBNLive.
The DGCA guidelines state that the crew members must first attempt to defuse a critical situation until it becomes clear that there is no way to resolve through verbal communication and written notice to passenger. Applying restraining devices should be used when all conciliatory approaches have been exhausted, continues the report.
This practice is not uncommon in the West, and in India as well, several airlines have measures in place to deal with unruly passengers.
A Times of India report cites a SpiceJet official saying that the airline carries handcuffs on all its planes and gives martial arts training to its crew. IndiGo has also said that it has been carrying restraint devices such as nylon ropes for some time now. While the newly launched Vistara did not specify whether it carries restrainers, it said that 'adequate measures' are taken for tackling unruly behaviour.
The IBNLive report quotes as IndiGo statement saying, "An unruly passenger/s might have potential for unlawful interference in flight. In the interest of safety and to avoid inconvenience to fellow passengers we, therefore, profile our passengers."
Jet Airways has also said that they don't currently use restrainers but will be implementing the practice soon since DGCA has issued guidelines. "This will be done only in the rarest of rare cases and as a last resort. This will be done in the interest of safety of passengers and crew members," IBNLive quotes the airline's statement as saying.
While there haven't been any reports of passengers being handcuffed as yet, it remains to be seen what impact these new guidelines will have on air travel.