JetBlue passenger incident one of many for airlines

Criminal charges were being considered Monday after a weekend airline scare in which a passenger started kicking and yelling on a JetBlue flight from New York to Las Vegas.

The outburst began Saturday morning, with the passenger standing on his seat and yelling in a foreign language, reports CBS News' Michelle Miller.

His family tried to hold him back, but he lunged toward a flight attendant, who managed to restrain him.

"Dad, stop it!" a family member said.

Another crew member bound his wrists with plastic handcuffs, but the passenger still managed to kick his own daughter.

The man was taken to the back of the plane and strapped into an empty row of seats, away from other passengers, as the captain re-routed the flight to Detroit.

Since 2007, airlines have reported 28,000 incidents involving unruly passengers. Almost a third -- 8,000 -- came in the last year alone.


Alcohol is often to blame, says CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg.

"Flying is a stressful situation for many passengers, and when they're left to their own resources when waiting for a plane, a lot of them will drink," he said.

In November 2013, police escorted a man off a Spirit Airlines flight for shouting and throwing things at other passengers.

In August 2012, an intoxicated man on another JetBlue flight was arrested for groping a pregnant woman. He served nearly 6 months in jail.

Airlines recently endorsed new protocols to deal with unruly fliers, including curbing alcohol consumption at airports and closing a loophole that allowed some disruptive passengers to escape punishment.

"If I'm an unruly passenger going from Los Angeles to London, well, where's the jurisdiction?" Greenberg asked. "Do I get penalized under Los Angeles codes, or London codes? And in the past, if London codes are more lenient, I might get off."

The JetBlue passenger was taken into custody by Detroit airport police, who determined he needed medical attention and took him to a nearby hospital.


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