Korean Air Has a Stunning New Passenger Safety Policy

December 27th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Korean Air recently earned unwanted headlines when a disturbance on one of their flights went viral. Now, in response, the airline is responding by giving their flight attendants more lee-way to use Taser guns on unruly passengers.

“We have decided to improve our conditions and procedure on using Taser guns to cope with violent acts and disturbances on board in a fast and efficient manner,” Korean Air Lines reportedly said in a statement on Tuesday.

Previously, Korean Air flight attendants could only use a Taser when the lives of passengers or crew were threatened but the policy change will allow for "more active use," according to CNN. The policy will also increase the number of male flight attendants, implement more Taser training for all flight attendants, and allow the crew to ban passengers with a history of in-flight disturbances.

This announcement comes after a Korea Air incident with an 80s pop star went viral.

On Dec. 20, American singer Richard Marx posted pictures on Twitter and Facebook of an unruly passenger on a Korea Air flight. Marx and said he and other passengers had to restrain the man for hours, and he criticized the response of the flight crew.

"A completely ill-prepared and untrained crew for a situation like this," Marx wrote in a Facebook post. "Four hours of a psycho passenger attacking crew members and other passengers."

Marx's wife, model and TV host, Daisy Fuentes posted on Instagram that the flight attendants didn't know how to use the stun guns and that the unruly passenger broke free from ropes three times.

Other airlines allow flight attendants to use stun guns.

After the hijackers were able to takeover commercial flights to execute the 9/11 terrorist attacks , some American and international airline companies started putting stun guns on planes for the flight crew to use in case of a violent passenger. The TSA also allows pilots to keep firearms in the cockpit in case of an attempted hijacking.

Flight crews can also carry plastic handcuffs and restraining tape, according to CNN.

In 2013, a viral photo circulated of an allegedly drunk man taped to his seat on a flight from Iceland to New York.

However, in most cases flight attendants can de-escalate tense situations with passengers.

"Restraint really is the last resort," James Healy-Pratt, head of aviation at London litigation firm Stewarts Law told BBC News in 2013. "Usually a verbal warning will be given by a member of the cabin crew and if that doesn't work, the captain will be approached."

The International Air Transport Association, an airline trade organization, analyzed 49,084 reports about unruly passengers from 2007 to 2015. The analysis found that most disturbances were verbal, and flight attendants could de-escalate them without using force, but 11 percent of unruly passenger incidents involved "physical aggression or damage to the aircraft." Overall 23 percent of disturbances involved alcohol, and in the previous 12 months, 40 percent of airlines had to prematurely land a flight because of unruly passengers.