2024 Election

Airplane Passenger Meltdowns Have Skyrocketed Nearly 50% Worldwide

Say goodbye to friendly skies. 

Wild passenger disturbances on commercial flights have soared nearly 50% worldwide in part because airlines stripped travelers of creature comforts during the pandemic, according to data and experts.

Cases of unruly air travelers — including drunks and brawlers — spiked by 47% globally between 2021 and 2022, with a total of 250 in the US referred to the FBI, according to an International Air Transport Association report.

The airhead behavior is on the rise because many of the biggest companies are now “no-frills airlines,” struggling with poor customer service after top employees left during COVID-19, former air marshal Jonathan Gilliam told Fox News.

“The care for the patrons is no longer there. A lot of that occurred because they got fed up with people during COVID,” said Gilliam, who is also a former FBI special agent.

“And the other problem is a lot of people left during COVID that were good flight attendants, and now they have, like every other industry, they have people who are just aren’t customer-service oriented.”


A woman was physically removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in New Orleans.

Shocking video captures brawl aboard a Southwest Airlines flight in Dallas.

Recent chaotic disruptions have included everything from a brawl between two women in Denver, Colo. to a traveler who demanded the plane turn around in Chiang Mai, Thailand so he could retrieve his forgotten bag, according to FOX.

Under current bare-necessities flight conditions — which include policies mandating travelers to pay extra to pick their seats and check luggage — fliers simply “don’t care” about listening to flight attendants, Gilliam said.

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“They really don’t care. And I think you see people treat police officers the same way,” Gilliam said. “This type of stuff and this type of self-centered, self-indulgent behavior is everywhere now. I mean, we see it everywhere.”

Many recent cases of passengers being booted from flights include clashes with flight attendants, who walk a fine line between customer service workers and in-flight authority figures.

On July 11, a Frontier Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Las Vegas was diverted to Denver International Airport when a heated fight broke out between two female passengers.

Video footage shows one of the women shouting,  “Don’t f—ing touch me,”  at a flight attendant.


Former FBI Special Agent Jonathan Gilliam says airlines have little patience for unruly passengers.
Facebook/Jonathan T Gilliam

Both women were taken off the plane and arrested by the Denver Police Department.

In Atlanta, a woman who claimed to be pregnant allegedly attacked Spirit Airlines workers who prevented her from boarding on April 30 — telling them she was “West Philly” and was going to “beat our a—s,”

The passenger, Que Maria Scott, 29, was charged with disorderly conduct.

On May 29, a Southwest Airlines flight from Houston from New Orleans was halted from takeoff while authorities booted an allegedly drunk woman from the plane for causing a disturbance

She was charged with two counts of disturbing the peace, criminal mischief, and battery on a police officer.

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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