Stun guns and more.
Dealing with someone who is unruly or violent is difficult enough on the ground—never mind at 35,000 feet.
And that challenge was highlighted once again last week, after Richard Marx (yes, that one) helped to restrain a violent passenger on a Korean Air flight. In response the incident, his wife Daisy Fuentes, who was traveling with him, criticized the airline for not properly training crew on how to deal with such a threat.
“I feel horrible for the abuse the staff had to endure but no one was prepared for this,” Fuentes posted on Instagram. “They never fully got control of him. They didn't know how to use the taser and they didn't know how to secure the rope around him.”
On our flight from Hanoi to Seoul a guy sitting in the next row from us got crazy & started attacking the flight attendants & passengers. When he started pushing the female staff and pulling them by the hair @therichardmarx was the first to help subdue him. This went on for FOUR hrs. I feel horrible for the abuse the staff had to endure but no one was prepared for this. They never fully got control of him. They didn't know how to use the taser & they didn't know how to secure the rope around him (he got loose from their rope restraints 3 times). I'll be posting some of the video after our next flight.
The airline said the flight attendant did not fire the taser because the passenger was moving around and she could have hit someone else inadvertently, according to TMZ. However, Marx' and Fuentes' accounts differ.
Now, the airline is saying it will change how its crews are trained to deal with similar threats.
“Korean Air will react more firmly and actively against in-flight violence that threatens the overall safety of the flight,” the airline said in a statement. “We have decided to improve our conditions and procedure on using Taser guns to cope with violent acts and disturbances on board in a fast and efficient manner.”
Staff will get additional training, according to Reuters, and at least one male flight attendant will be on duty for each flight.
According to the BBC, stun guns were previously used only for “grave” situations—which could potentially leave a lot to interpretation by crew facing an unruly passenger. Deciding whether someone is merely a nuisance or a serious threat is a difficult call when the safety of a plane full of passengers is at stake.