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Airlines Roll Out New Tactics In Fight Against Unruly Passengers

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A passenger recently went berserk on a JetBlue flight from JFK to Las Vegas, and it was all caught on video.

As CBS 2’s Maurice Dubois reported, the incident was part of a disturbing trend in our skies and now, fed up airlines are taking action.

The outburst began 90 minutes into a Saturday morning flight, when a passenger stood on his seat and started yelling in a foreign language.

His family tried to hold him back, but the man lunged at a flight attendant who finally managed to restrain him.

Another crew member bound the man’s wrists with plastic cuffs, but he 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.

Since 2007, airlines have reported 28,000 incidents involving unruly passengers, 8,000 of those have been in the last year alone.

As CBS News Travel Editor, Peter Greenberg explained, alcohol is often involved.

“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,” Greenberg said.

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

In August of 2012, an intoxicated man on another JetBlue flight was arrested and accused of groping a pregnant woman.

Airlines have recently endorsed new protocols to deal with unruly fliers including curbing alcohol consumption at airports. They have also moved to close a legal loophole that has allowed some unruly passengers to avoid punishment.

“If I’m an unruly passenger going from Los Angeles to London, well, where’s the jurisdiction? 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,” Greenberg said.

Saturday’s flight was diverted to Detroit where police took the passenger to the hospital. They are still determining whether to file criminal charges.

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