Dealing with someone who is unruly is difficult enough on the ground—never mind at 35,000 ft. Following an incident when U.S. Singer Richard Marx had to assist KE crew trying to restrain a violent passenger, KE says flight attendants will be better trained to take down violent pax.
Marx’s wife, model and TV host 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.”
The airline said the flight attendants didn’t fire the taser because the passenger was moving around and she could have hit someone else inadvertently.
In the face of the criticism that followed, the airline has released a statement saying guidelines will be revised for crew to react “more firmly and actively against in-flight violence”.
“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,” the airline stated. Staff will get additional training 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.