Unpleasant airplane passengers fall into various categories, some more loathed than others for their specific behaviors. But instances of one particular type of trouble-making and unseemly airplane passenger is showing a markedly steep rise lately and — although flight attendants can suss out the presence of this person on a plane in a mere three seconds — members of this dubious group are causing ever more chaos in the skies.
So who's the culprit? Drunks.
Arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk have jumped up by 50 percent in the last year alone, according to a BBC investigation that looked at travelers within U.K. airports and on flights.
A total of 387 people were arrested in the year that ended in February, up sharply from 255 the previous year. And more than half of cabin crew responding to a survey said they had witnessed, “disruptive drunken passenger behavior” at U.K. airports, according to the report. Even worse, one in five said they had suffered physical abuse by such passengers.
One former cabin crew manager with Virgin said, "People just see us as barmaids in the sky,” according to the BBC. “They would touch your breasts, or they'd touch your bum or your legs. I've had hands going up my skirt before."
All told, the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority reported a 600 percent increase in disruptive passenger incidents between 2012 and 2016 with "most involving alcohol.”
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