DGCA Issues Advisory to Airlines to Deal with Unruly Passengers

This advisory follows a recent incident in which a male passenger caused physical harm to cabin crew members. The regulator has classified unruly passenger behavior into three levels with varying degrees of punishment, and airlines have been advised to sensitize their staff on the handling of such situations.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Govt of India on Monday issued an advisory to airlines, reinforcing the existing procedures for dealing with disruptive passengers.

The advisory follows a recent incident in which a male passenger was removed from an Air India flight from Delhi to London for causing physical harm to two cabin crew members.

The DGCA has observed a trend of passengers onboard an aircraft smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages, which results in unruly behaviour, altercations between passengers, and sometimes inappropriate touching or sexual harassment.

Postholders, pilots, and cabin crew members have all failed to take appropriate action in such cases. The regulator has emphasized the importance of airlines enforcing existing rules and training pilots, cabin crew, and post-holders on how to deal with unruly passengers.


Also Read: 149 Passengers Placed in ‘No Fly List’ in Last Three Years: Aviation Ministry

Classifying Unruly Passenger Behaviors

DGCA regulations provide for the classification of unruly passenger behaviour into three levels, with varying degrees of punishment.

  • Level 1 includes physical gestures, verbal harassment, and unruly inebriation.
  • Level 2 covers physically abusive behaviour, such as pushing, kicking, or sexual harassment.
  • Level 3 includes life-threatening behaviour, such as damage to aircraft operating systems, physical violence, choking, or murderous assault.

Also Read: Air India Change its Alcohol Service Policy, Allowing Cabin Crew to Refuse Service if Necessary

Punishments for Unruly Passengers

Based on these levels, an internal committee set up by the airline can decide on the duration for which an unruly passenger can be banned from flying. Such people can face flying bans for varying periods, depending on the severity of their behaviour.


The advisory from DGCA serves as a reminder to airlines and passengers alike to respect the rules and regulations in place to ensure safe and comfortable air travel.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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