Korean Air pledges ‘ag­gres­sive’ ac­tion for un­ruly pas­sen­gers

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Korean Air said yes­ter­day it would let its crew use stun guns more ag­gres­sively and put more male staff aboard flights to clamp down on vi­o­lence, af­ter an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing an un­ruly pas­sen­ger. South Korea’s flag car­rier said it was tight­en­ing se­cu­rity af­ter 1980s US pop singer Richard Marx lashed out at the com­pany on so­cial me­dia for its han­dling of the in­ci­dent.

Un­til now, the use of stun guns or tasers has been lim­ited to sit­u­a­tions where there was an “im­mi­nent threat to the lives of pas­sen­gers and crew or to safe nav­i­ga­tion”, said air­line spokesman Nathan Cho. But “reg­u­la­tions on the use of stun guns or tasers will be changed to al­low crew mem­bers to use them more ag­gres­sively”, he added. The air­line will also put at least one male crew mem­ber on ev­ery flight, buy new ropes to tie down un­ruly pas­sen­gers quickly and step up crew train­ing in mock-up cab­ins. Korean Air’s 700 male at­ten­dants ac­count for only one tenth of its flight at­ten­dants. Marx said last week he had to step in to help “clue­less and ill-trained” crew re­strain a vi­o­lent pas­sen­ger on a flight from Hanoi to Seoul’s In­cheon Air­port.

Lo­cal tele­vi­sion footage showed a male pas­sen­ger flail­ing, punch­ing and spit­ting as fe­male crew mem­bers and other pas­sen­gers strug­gled to hold him down and tie him to his seat with a rope. Marx posted pho­tos on Twit­ter and Face­book taken by his wife, TV host and model Daisy Fuentes which showed the pas­sen­ger grab­bing a fe­male flight at­ten­dant by her hair and another crew mem­ber point­ing a taser.

Fuentes said the all-fe­male crew did not know how to use the taser nor how to se­cure the rope around the man and “never fully got con­trol of him”. Marx said the fi­asco lasted four hours un­til he stepped in along with other male pas­sen­gers. South Korean po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing and have sought an ar­rest war­rant for the pas­sen­ger, iden­ti­fied as a 34-year-old heir to a South Korean cos­met­ics com­pany.

SEOUL: This pic­ture taken on De­cem­ber 27, 2016 shows crew mem­bers of Korean Air us­ing stun guns at a train­ing cen­ter.

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