Study Finds Alcohol Consumption as Primary Cause of Passenger Misbehavior on Aircraft

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A study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas reveals that incidents of passengers misbehaving on aircraft are primarily caused by alcohol consumption. The study analyzed 915 cases of misconduct logged by flight crew between 1999 and 2020, identifying verbal misconduct as the most common type of incident.

Passenger Misbehavior, Alcohol Consumption, Study, Aircraft, Flight Crew, Verbal Misconduct

Incidents of passengers misbehaving on aircraft, as increasingly posted on social media, are primarily caused by alcohol consumption, according to a study. Researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas studied 915 cases of misconduct logged by flight crew in the Aviation Safety Reporting System between 1999 and 2020.

Misconduct, according to the researchers, includes behavior that is abusive or unruly, upsets crew members or other passengers, or goes as far as to compromise the safety of the flight. The study, published in the journal Deviant Behavior and conducted by UT Dallas sociology professor Sheryl Skaggs and criminologist Lynne Vieraitis, found that verbal misconduct was the most common type of incident, accounting for 46 percent of cases, followed by ignoring crew commands—such as by smoking in the toilet or failing to store luggage correctly—at 39 percent

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