A man was arrested Sunday afternoon after reportedly losing his nerves and smashing several check-in counters at Brussels Airport.
“It is true that a man behaved very aggressively on Sunday afternoon”, said Nathalie Pierard, spokesperson for Brussels Airport. “An investigation will be opened to determine the reasons for this man’s behaviour.”
Other passengers at the airport captured the entire incident on video. The footage shows the man picking up one of the metal poles used to create queue corridors before check-in counters then taking it against the protection screens of the check-in desks. He smashes one, then moves to the next one several counters over.
Before going on with his rampage to the next protection screen, another passenger tackled him and managed to keep him on the ground until security officers showed up and subdued the aggressive traveller. The reasons for the man’s behaviour or his identity are yet unknown, but an investigation has been opened to determine the circumstances of the incident.
An analysis on unruly passengers conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and released this summer shows that the number of incidents involving disruptive passengers has increased post-pandemic. The study compares 2022 to 2021 figures and shows there were 61% more reports last year than during the previous one.
Although non-compliance incidents initially fell after the mask mandates were removed on most flights, the frequency began to rise again throughout 2022. The most common examples of in-flight non-compliance were found to be smoking of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vapes and puff devices in the cabin or lavatories, failure to fasten seatbelts when instructed, exceeding the carry-on baggage allowance or failing to store baggage when required and the consumption of own alcohol on board.
“The increasing trend of unruly passenger incidents is worrying. (…) It is unacceptable that rules in place for everyone’s safety are disobeyed by a small but persistent minority of passengers”, Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Deputy Director General, commented on the increase. “No one wants to stop people having a good time when they go on holiday—but we all have a responsibility to behave with respect for other passengers and the crew.”