Avianca calls for unruly passenger action after baby kicked on Barcelona flight

Following a disgusting incident on board Avianca flight AV18 between Bogotá (Colombia) and Barcelona (Spain), the airline is urging governments around the world to tighten regulations against disruptive passengers. According to Avianca, incidents related to unruly travelers have doubled since 2018.

What happened?

On February 6, 2021, there was an incident between an unruly passenger and a baby on board Avianca flight AV18 between Bogotá and Barcelona.

According to information published by local media Semana, an elderly woman attacked a one-year-old child on board the plane. The children were crying when another passenger suggested the mother let the baby crawl down the aisle, and she accepted the suggestion.

As the child crawled onto the plane, another passenger (an older woman) kicked him in the face, causing him to bleed. The woman argued that she was in despair over the child’s crying and was no longer able to handle the situation. Following the attack, the crew became involved and the captain called the Spanish police.

Once the plane landed in Barcelona, ​​the Spanish Civil Guard intervened and urged the mother to file a complaint. However, in the confusion, the mother forgot to ask the police for official photos of the incident.

A few days later, the Spanish authorities summoned the mother and the attacker; the mother came alone, without a lawyer (because she couldn’t afford one), and the attacker arrived with a lawyer, denying any assault. In addition, the main witness to the incident, a member of the Avianca cabin crew, did not appear. At the moment, there is no further information regarding the striker’s legal status.


Avianca is urging governments to allow no-fly lists to combat the increase in unruly passengers. Photo: Getty Images.

What did Avianca do?

Following the incident, Avianca released a statement,

“The Avianca crew is ready to comply with local authorities, if necessary, to file a report on what happened and what they witnessed. Avianca has been and is always available to collaborate and effectively protect the rights of the baby and his mother. The airline urges passengers on flight AV18 who witnessed the event to contact the relevant authorities.

In addition, Avianca today released a statement asking Colombian civil aviation authorities to create a no-fly list to further screen disruptive passengers and protect travelers and airline employees. He argues that incidents such as that which occurred on flight AV18 show the need for stricter rules.

A no-fly list is something that has been demanded by airlines lately. In the United States, the CEO of Delta Air Lines recently called for a national no-fly list for unruly passengers.

Over the past two years, there has been a worrying increase in the number of unruly passengers around the world. Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration had 5,981 reports of unruly passengers in the United States. The rate was 6.9 incidents per 10,000 flights, most related to the use of masks on board.


There has been an increase in the number of unruly passengers around the world. Photo: Getty Images.

Remember the rules

While governments and civil aviation authorities have work to do, passengers should also remember their responsibilities on board an aircraft, Avianca said.

Passengers must always respect the security measures established by airlines and airports; they must not behave or express comments and threats likely to cause panic among other travelers, nor cause disturbances or carry weapons.

Frederico Pedreira, Chief Operating Officer of Avianca, said:

“Avianca appreciates all the cooperation of Aerocivil and the authorities in the cases we have had of disruptive passengers; similarly, there is an urgent need to work to further strengthen regulations to generate rapid action in the regulation of no-fly lists and other actions that strengthen regulations and processes in the face of these cases.

Do you think a no-fly list would prevent the increase in the number of disruptive passengers in civil aviation? Let us know in the comments below.

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