Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
August 16, 2017

Drunken passengers are more than just a nuisance — they are endangering cabin crew and threatening flight safety, according to one survey.

A survey of British flight attendants, released earlier this week, revealed that 87 percent have witnessed drunken passenger behavior. But even more shocking is the prevalence of abuse that cabin crew have experienced, partially due to drunken passengers.

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More than half of the respondents said they had suffered verbal abuse while operating a flight. About 20 percent of respondents experienced physical abuse, and 10 percent reported sexual abuse on flights from U.K. airports. More than 25 percent of respondents said that passengers’ drunken actions compromised flight safety.

The survey was conducted by British union Unite, which represents 30,000 cabin crew members for various airlines in the U.K.

Unite’s national officer for civil air transport Oliver Richardson called for the industry and government to “look at factors such as levels of alcohol consumption prior to flight departures, as well as tougher penalties for the perpetrators of such behaviour.”

“We would urge the industry and ministers to join Unite in developing an action plan to rid the skies of disruptive and dangerous behaviour,” Richardson said in a statement.

Earlier this week, European budget airline Ryanair called for airports to limit alcohol sales per passenger. And the BBC reported that arrests of drunk people on airplanes or in airports increased 50 percent over the past year.

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